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THE BOYS* 
BOOK OF SPORTS 




A CLOSE DECISIOX 



THE BOYS' 
BOOK OF SPORTS 



EDITED BY 

GRANTLAND RICE 



WITH MANY ILLUSTRATIONS FROM 
PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS 




NEW YORK 

THE CENTURY CO. 

1917 



1^^ 



Copyright, 191 7, by 
The Century Co. 



Published September, igiz 



/ 

OCT -3 1317 
©rb\4703r>c 



DEDICATED : 

TO ALL WHO LOVE THE OUTDOOR GAME 
THROUGH life's YOUNG APRIL OUT THE WAY; 
WHO MAKE THEIR BID FOR FUN OR FAME, 
AND FEEL THE ANCIENT THRILL OF PLAY. 

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO Ve HEARD THE CALL 
OF FIELD AND STREAM — OF TRACK AND SPAR — 
WHOVe LOOKED AT LIFE BEYOND THE WALL — 
AND THAT MEANS ALL THE KIDS THERE ARE ! 



INTRODUCTION 

In selecting this material for '' The Boys' Book of 
Sports " we had in mind but one thought. This 
thought was to try and confer upon the average normal 
boy — which most of them are — a double blessing. 
T. A long period of entertainment and delight. 2. A 
full span of instruction and an inside view upon all 
the games that each boy plays, or would like to play, 
if he had the chance. 

There is no normal boy in all the world who does n't 
thrill at the call of outdoor life; who doesn't like to 
play football or baseball, golf or tennis; who doesn't 
like to camp out, fly kites, have a camera, go fishing 
and swimming, shoot a rifle, jump, run, or sail a boat, 
or dream of riding in an aeroplane that will take him 
far above the trees he climbs and the birds that have 
eluded his reach. 

What boy in the land is there who would n't like to 
have Billy Evans, the great American League umpire, 
come to him and tell all about the heroes of baseball — 
how Cobb bats and Johnson pitches, how Alexander 
wins, and how Speaker makes his three-base hits ? 

What boy is there who would n't like to have Christy 
Mathewson come and tell him how to throw the '' fade- 
away " — how to hold the ball for various curves, 
how the great game should be played? 

They both come to you in this book and tell you all 
of these things and many more. 

What boy is there who would n't thrill at the chance 

to have Francis Ouimet, the youthful conqueror of 

vii 



viii INTRODUCTION 

Ray and Vardon, come to him and tell the story of 
his golfing life; how he began the game; how he im- 
proved his play, and how he finally worked his way 
to the greatest glory any American youngster has ever 
known in sport? This is just what Francis Ouimet 
does in *' The Boys' Book of Sports." 

And these things are only a small part of the " sport- 
ing party " that '* St. Nicholas " is giving. For after 
reading all the '' hows " and *' whys " of different 
games, there are still left the gripping stories of young 
heroes who make long runs dow-n the field, or three- 
base hits, or who come to the tape with the w^inning 
spurt. 

In making this selection from the best sporting sto- 
ries that '' St. Nicholas " has produced in the last 
twenty years, there was material, not only for a book, 
but for a complete library of books. There w^ere 
many hundreds of the best possible stories to choose. 
But there was always the thought that in the final 
selection the reader would have his sporting library 
complete and compact in one volume. 

The boy is going into sport more and more each 
year. This is the age of sport and the youngster is 
taking his part in the long parade. It has suddenly 
come upon older men, who started certain games too 
late in life, what they missed by not molding their 
playing form when muscles responded in a far quicker 
way. These men are seeing to it that their boys are 
not making the same mistake and missing the great 
chance for later pleasure. And they don't have to 
drive the boy to his task. He might like one game bet- 
ter than another, but he wants to know about them all. 
Given his chance, he would play baseball and football, 
golf and tennis, fly a kite, go swimming, and between 
sessions camp out and have a motor-cycle. 



INTRODUCTION ix 

He probably won't be able to do all of these things. 
But what is at least next best — if not just as good — 
he has his chance here to know all about them, and to 
gather in the spirit of each game from the many stories 
this book contains. 

Suppose you should take the average boy out and 
say to him : " I am now going to show you how to 
throw a drop; how to kick a field-goal; how to make 
a forward pass; how to play golf; how to play tennis; 
how to make a small aeroplane ; how to train for run- 
ning and jumping; how to stand at bat; how to ride a 
motor-cycle; how to make a tent for camping out; 
how to swim ; the best way to fish ; how to row a boat ; 
how to shoot a rifle; how to work a camera." If he 
thought you meant it, you would have a sworn and 
staunch friend for life. Yet this is exactly what we 
are showing him in an even better way with the best 
instructors to be obtained : Christy Mathewson, Billy 
Evans, Francis Ouimet, Parmly Paret, Parke Davis, 
and dozens of others who stand at the top. 

The reader will find the most attractive feature 
of the book its wide variety. Too much instruction, 
even in sport, might pall a bit. But instruction in the 
outdoor game is only a part of the combination. The 
various stories of athletic young heroes are not only 
intensely exciting in their appeal, but they are all writ- 
ten by the best writers of boy stories to be found. 
These too are instructive in another way, for they 
show how clean living, hard training, courage, and 
patience are not to be beaten. 

In arranging this book we came upon only one 
regret — that is, if any such book was printed in 
our younger days, we never had the chance to read it. 
It is an opportunity we would not have missed for any- 
thing, if we had only known; and so it is an oppor- 



X INTRODUCTIOxN 

tunity we hate to think any of the boys of to-day will 
miss. 

To those boys who have never read the stories here, 
the treat will be well beyond any measuring. And 
those who have v/ill find it greatly to their advantage 
to have in one book so much instruction and " inside '* 
opinions upon so many games within easy reach. 

The full proof of its value is that not only boys, but 
older men interested in the outdoor game, will find it 
well worth their while to make their way through its 
pages. Writing and reading sport is a big part of our 
daily existence. But w'hen we had read the last of 
the manuscripts here, w-e w^anted to keep going on into 
another volume. 

In these pages you can not only learn — you can 
learn with the pulse-leap of continued excitement and 
an abiding interest that the rush of the game does n't 
permit to lag. 

Grantland Rice. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I The Art of Batting . ■ Billy Evans 3 

II Speed and the Base-Runner 

Billy Evans 19 

III Freak Plays and Superstitions .... 

Billy Evans 31 

IV The Unknown Recruit and the Foxy 

Manager . . . . , Billy Evans 43 

V Outguessing the Opposition 

Billy Evans 55 

VI Playing the Infield . . Billy Evans 66 

VII Some Experiences of a ** Speed-King," 

or My Life-Story . Walter Johnson 79 

VIII How I Became a *' Big-League '* Pitcher 

Christy Mathezvson 97 

IX The Field-Goal Art . Parke H. Davis 121 

X Tactics and Tacticians of the Grid- 
iron . . . . . Parke H. Davis 138 

XI The Midget's Nerve Leslie W. Quirk 161 

XII The Magic Foot-Ball 

Ralph Henry Barbour 168 

XIII The Coward of the Eleven 

Ralph D. Paine 191 

XIV The Game I Love . . .Francis Ouimet 204 

XV Lawn-Tennis for Boys 

/. Parmly Paret 273 
xi 



xii CONTENTS 

CUAPTEE PAGE 

XVI Up-To-Date Methods for Success in 

Swimming . . . L, De B. Hundley ^,0$ 

XVII The Swimming Event 

George C. Lane 317 

XVIII The Boy's Fishing Kit . E. T. Keyser 331 

XIX A First-Class Argument 

George M. Johnson 340 

XX Aquaplane Riding . E. J. Morris, M.D. 352 

XXI The Triumph of " Dutchy " 

/. Sherman Potter 359 

XXII Training for Interscholastic Ath- 
letics G. IV. Orton 364 

XXIII Coaching the Coach Leslie W. Quirk 381 

XXIV " Skeeter '* .... Oscar Lewis 391 

XXV A Famous Lacrosse Struggle 

George Hounsfield Pord 402 

XXVI Boys and the Air-Ship 

Francis Arnold Collins 415 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



U-' 



A Close Decision Frontispiece 

Ty Cobb 5 

Tris Speaker 5 

Hans Wagner 15 ^ 

" Nap " Lajoie 15 

A Successful Slide at the Home Base . . . .25 

Stealing Third 25 

Frank Baker 71^ 

Eddie Collins 71 

Walter Johnson 81^ 

Christy Mathewson 99 

J. Triplett Haxall 125 

B. W. Trafford 125 

John De Witt 125.^' 

The Revolving Tandem 151*^ 

The "V" Trick 151 

Francis Ouimet ziju^ 

Charles E. Evans, Jr 243*. ' 

Jerome D. Travers 243 

Walter J. Travis 261 

John G. Anderson 261 

The Beginning of the Forehand Drive .... 283 

The End of the Forehand Drive 283 

Beginning the Backhand Stroke 289 



Xlll 



xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

The End of the Backhand Stroke 289 ^ 

Beginning the Service 295 J 

Completing the Service 295 j 

Forehand Volley at the Net 301^ 

Backhand Volley at the Net 301 ^ 

Illustrating Position of the Crawl Stroke . . . 307- 

Side View of the Crawl Stroke 307^ 

The Racing Start 313 ^ 

Front View of the Crawl Z^Z ^ 

Side View of Crawl While the Right Arm is Drawing 

and the Left Recovering 313 \> 

'* His Hand Touched the Float, the Finish-Line, Two 

Strokes Ahead " 327^ 

The Rider of the Aquaplane Has Risen to His Feet 353 u 

James E. Meredith 367 y 

D. J. Kelly 367^ 

Kraenzlein Going Over the Low Hurdle .... 377 

Kraenzlein Taking the High Hurdle 377 

A Rough Check 411 

Recent Type of Model Hydroaeroplane .... 417 

A Fast English Model 417 

An Efficient Long- Distance Model 417 



THE BOYS' 
BOOK OF SPORTS 



THE BOYS' 
BOOK OF SPORTS 



THE ART OF BATTING 

By Umpire " Billy Evans " of the American League 

PAYNE is now batting for Cobb! " 
Such was the announcement made to the 
fans by the umpire, near the close of a game 
between Chicago and Detroit several years ago. 
No doubt you wonder what happened to make it nec- 
essary that a substitute batter be used in Cobb's place. 
You feel sure that Cobb suffered an injury of some 
kind. Nothing of the sort. The only thing wrong 
with Tyrus, on that memorable afternoon, was the 
fact that on his four trips to the plate he had struck 
out as many times. Not once did he even hit a long 
foul. Left-handers, as a rule, have the edge on a left- 
handed batsman. White, one of the craftiest pitchers 
in the business, was doing the twirling for the " White 
Sox." Throughout the game, he had outguessed the 
famous batsman of the " Tigers." At that time, Cobb 
was not the finished performer he is to-day. Some 
years of experience have perfected him in many 
of the fine points of the game that he lacked at that 
time. And Payne was almost as helpless before 
White, as Cobb had been. 

3 



4 THE BOYS' P>OOK OF SPORTS 

The following day, I talked witli Cobb for a few 
minutes before the start of the game. The fact that 
he had been struck out four times in one game was 
not to his Hking. He did n't intend to stand for such 
treatment very often. No doubt his weakness at the 
bat that afternoon had caused him to do a lot of think- 
ing in the evening. Before I had a chance to say any- 
thing about WTiite's great pitching, Cobb brought up 
the subject. 

" I must have looked like the worst hitter in the 
world yesterday," remarked Tyrus. " Never has a 
pitcher made me look as foolish as did White, and I 
don't believe any pitcher will ever turn such a trick 
again. I feel sure I can hit White. It did n't look 
that way yesterday ; but I am positive White is n't 
going to trouble me in the future. He 's a great 
pitcher, and he certainly had me outguessed at every 
turn ; but two can work at that game. The next time 
I face White, I may get a little revenge for those four 
strike-outs he handed me. When I was looking for 
the curve, I got the slow one, and when I would get 
set for a fast one, he would come through with a 
curve. When I figured on a slow ball, he would buzz 
a fast one by my head. Perhaps the next time, I 
may do the correct guessing, and if such happens to 
be the case, the score is liable to show a few doubles 
and triples instead of a big bunch of strike-outs." 

Cobb discovered that afternoon that White was less 
effective if the batter shifted around in the box. He 
made a close study of the best positions to assume to 
connect with White's various styles. First, he would 
be up in front of the batter's box, then back at the 
rear of it, while the next minute he would be closely 
hugging the plate. Never again, during the remainder 
of White's career as a pitcher in the American League, 



THE ART OF BATTING 7 

was he as troublesome for Cobb as on the afternoon 
he caused the " Georgia Peach " to whiff four times. 
In fact, Cobb was more troublesome, as a rule, to 
White than White ever was to Cobb. Many a time 
did Tyrus come through with a wallop at White's ex- 
pense that decided the game in favor of the " Tigers." 
Cobb is a wonderful batsman. His record as an 
American Leaguer is proof positive of that fact. He 
joined the Detroit club late in the season of 1905. 
During the remainder of the season, he took part in 
41 games, hitting .240, which was the only time dur- 
ing his major-league career that his batting missed the 
.300 mark. In his second year as a big-leaguer, Cobb 
finished sixth, with an average of .320. In 1907, he 
came into his own as a batter, piling up a record of 
.350 for the season, and carrying off the batting honors 
of the league. That started Cobb on a mad batting 
career. The close of every season for nine years 
found him leading the American League hitters, usu- 
ally with a comfortable margin to spare, and it was 
not until 19 16 that Tris Speaker, of Cleveland, with 
a percentage of .386 took the coveted honor away from 
him. Cobb's record, since joining the American 
League, is as follows : 

Year Games At Bat Runs Hits Percentage 

1905 41 150 9 36 .240 

1906 97 350 44 112 .320 

1907 150 605 97 212 .350 

1908 150 581 88 188 .324 

1909 156 573 116 216 .377 

1910 140 509 106 196 .385 

191 1 146 591 147 248 .420 

1912 140 553 119 227 410 

1913 122 420 70 167 .390 

1914 97 345 69 127 .368 

1915 156 563 144 208 .370 

1916 145 542 113 201 .371 



8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

A glance at the above figures is perhaps the best 
possible proof of Cobb's ability as a batsman. For the 
last eleven years, he has hit well above .300, a batting 
mark at which all great players aim. In two of these 
eleven years, he has batted over .400, while in three 
others he has been dangerously close to the mark. It 
is not generally known, but Cobb suffers from a per- 
pendicular astigmatism in one of his eyes. He rights 
the vision of this eye by cocking the head a trifle, 
which you will notice if you carefully watch his pose 
at the bat the next time you see him in action. Amer- 
ican League pitchers insist they are extremely glad 
there is something wrong with one of his eyes. They 
can't imagine what his batting average would be, if 
both optics were in tiptop shape! 

" A great hitter must have the natural ability. It 
is possible to perfect a man's style in the field, thus 
greatly improving his fielding game, but not nearly 
as much can be done to aid the weak hitter," remarked 
Cobb some time ago, when discussing the subject of bat- 
ting. '* It must come naturally. Mighty few hit- 
ters have benefited their averages by changing their 
style at the plate. Hans Wagner is a great hitter; 
Nap Lajoie is a wonderful batter; Sherwood Magee 
can clout the ball; while Sam Crawford and Tris 
Speaker are feared by every pitcher with an ounce 
of brains. These five fellows are all great batters; 
yet no two of them have the same style at the plate. 
It would be impossible for any one in the world to 
copy Wagner's slouchy attitude, and achieve great- 
ness at the bat. No one but Lajoie could assume the 
indifference that characterizes Larry's stand at the 
plate, and be able to wallop the ball as the big French- 
man does. Then there is Sam Crawford, who is grace 
personified when he steps into the batter's box. Every 



THE ART OF BATTING 9 

move that Sam makes in the box is graceful. He is 
the direct opposite of Wagner, yet both are master 
batsmen. Nature gave Crawford and Wagner each 
his particular style. Each hit at the ball in just the 
same way on the day he made his big league debut, 
as he does to-day. 

" After natural ability comes confidence. A be- 
lief on the part of the batter that he can hit any kind 
of pitching, is the greatest boost in the world to nat- 
ural ability. I have always regarded confidence as 
half the battle. After White had struck me out four 
times in that one game I was disgusted, but not dis- 
couraged. I simply could n't figure where he had any 
license to make me look as helpless as all that. I de- 
cided that I could hit White ; that I would hit him, and 
that I would get revenge for those four straight strike- 
outs. I guess even * Doc ' White himself will admit 
that I have made good on that point. White made 
trouble for me because he was brainy, and had plenty 
of confidence. South-paws with more speed and a 
better curve had been easy for me, yet White with 
his brains and confidence, plus a slow ball and a dinky 
curve, had made me look foolish. I realized that I 
would have to combat him with brains and confidence. 
To go up to the plate in a rage, determined to knock 
the ball out of the lot, is just the pose and frame of 
mind White liked all batters to be in. A fellow who 
took healthy lunges at White's teasers generally dented 
the air. White always smiled his sweetest at batters 
in that frame of mind. I decided that when facing 
White, I would smile as broadly as did he; that I 
would n't try to knock any balls out of the lot ; that I 
would n't hit at any bad ones for the sake of hitting, 
and that I would force * Doc ' to get the ball over 
the plate. I have always followed that custom when 



lo THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

hitting against White, and have been very success- 
ful. 

** A majority of the batters are overawed by the 
average pitcher when they go to bat. They figure the 
pitcher has the edge on them — that he has a little 
bit more to offer as a pitcher than they have as bats- 
men. If they happen to face a star, the feeling of 
not being able to hit is all the greater. I always make 
an effort to feel that I am a little bit better batter 
than the pitcher is a pitcher. I try not to be worried 
when I get two strikes, as I always figure that I still 
have a good chance. The only strike I hate to hear 
the umpire call is the third one, for then I know I am 
through. A lot of critics say I am more dangerous 
with two strikes on me than at any other time. I sup- 
pose a lot of pitchers feel the same way about it. I 
hope they will always regard me in that light. I hon- 
estly believe that I do my best hitting when men are 
on bases. I like to see the runs going across the plate, 
and I really believe that I put more fire in my work, 
when a couple of men are on bases, than when the 
sacks are empty. I know the pitcher is under a strain. 
I always try to believe that he is the fellow who should 
be worried. 

" A batter can never hope to be a great hitter, if 
he has a tendency to pull away from the plate. Bat- 
ters who back away are the easiest victims for the 
brainy pitcher. Backing away from the plate is due 
to fear, a lack of confidence. The wise pitcher soon 
notices this defect, and is quick to take advantage of 
it. Such action is a tip to the pitcher that you fear 
being hit. Taking this as a cue, he throws a fast ball 
as close to your head as he can, without hitting you. 
This has a tendency to increase the fear, and perhaps 
drive you still further away from the plate. This, 



THE ART OF BATTING ii 

of course, was the end desired by the pitcher, and hav- 
ing accompHshed it, he proceeds to take advantage of 
your position in the batter's box, by using a curve 
ball on the outside of the plate, which it is well-nigh 
impossible to hit, yet is good enough to be called a 
strike by the umpire. If you watch carefully, the good 
hitters are the ones who hold their ground; who re- 
fuse to be driven back. In a big majority of cases, 
it is the easiest thing in the world to get out of the 
way of the average wild pitch. 

" Speed is, of course, a great asset to the batter. 
It is of more advantage than most batters think, for 
often hits are lost, simply because the batter does n't 
think he has a chance, and fails to run out his hit. 
That is one feature of the game to which every player 
should adhere; yet every now and then I find myself 
jogging down to a base, instead of going at top speed, 
simply because I believe the infielder will throw me 
out, or the outfielder will surely catch my easy fly. A 
batter should never consider himself out, until he has 
actually been retired. Whenever he hits the ball, he 
should run his hardest, regardless of where or how 
the ball has been hit. It is really surprising the num- 
ber of hits that are lost in this way every year. Run- 
ning out a hit is a practice every manager should in- 
sist upon his players' obeying to the letter." 

In connection with what Cobb had to say about bat- 
ters often being overawed when facing some great 
pitcher, I vividly recall the experience of two recruits 
when pitted against Walter Johnson. It so happened 
that both these youngsters were unfortunate enough to 
make their major league debut against the Washington 
club when Johnson was doing the pitching. One of 
the youngsters struck out three times, and on the 
fourth trial went out on a pop fly to the first baseman. 



12 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

1 felt sorry for the youngster, because I knew he was 
a better batter than this showed him to be. The next 
day, before the game, I happened to sit down next 
to him on the bench. I thought a Httle encourage- 
ment might make him feel better. 

** You must n't worry because Johnson fanned you 
three times yesterday," I remarked. *' I 've seen him 
fan a lot of the veteran players quite as often." 

The youngster did n't reply for a minute or two, 
and then his answer caused me to lessen my faith in 
his chances to make good. 

" That was a fine spot to try me out ! " said the 
youngster. *' You would think the manager would 
have used better sense. The fans in this town can cer- 
tainly roast a fellow. I can see what is coming to 
me, unless I deliver the goods. I suppose I '11 get a 
chance the next time Johnson pitches. I 've been sit- 
ting on the bench for a month waiting to break in, 
but now I wish I had n't been selected to play." 

It is perhaps needless for me to add that the player 
I refer to did n't make good. He is not even in the 
minors, but has dropped out of base-ball entirely. 

The other player who had his debut against John- 
son fared even worse. He struck out every time he 
stepped to the plate — to be exact, four times. I don't 
believe he even made so much as a foul. I shall never 
forget the youngster's look every time he took a swing 
at the ball. 

** That boy certainly has something," was his re- 
mark, and a smile always accompanied it. Of the 
twelve strikes called on him, he swung at ten — and 
missed ! The following day, when I came out on the 
field prior to the start of the game, the veteran mem- 
bers of the team were having a great laugh, listening 
to the youngster's explanation of how he managed to 



THE ART OF BATTING 13 

keep Johnson from hitting his bat ! He also expressed 
a hope that a photographer would be present if he 
achieved a foul off Johnson's delivery, so that he could 
have an enlarged picture made of the affair. The 
manager sat on the bench in silence. Not until he 
left the bench to bat to the infield in practice, did the 
recruit say anything to him. Then this was his re- 
mark: 

" Don't forget, manager, that if you need a pinch 
hitter any time Johnson is working, I am at your serv- 
ice!" 

" I may take you at your word," replied the man- 
ager, with a smile, for he was pleased with the spirit 
of the youngster. As fate would have it, a week or 
so later the youngster got another chance, and it was 
as a pinch hitter with Johnson pitching. He hit for 
two bases, and won the game ! He is a big league star 
to-day. He did n't worry because Johnson struck him 
out four times on his major league debut. He had 
confidence in his ability, and he owes his present high 
position in base-ball to that feature of his make-up. 

Than Larry Lajoie no greater hitter ever lived. 
He was one of those fellows who appeared to be able to 
hit any kind of pitching. When spit-ball pitchers first 
came into the limelight and put a big crimp in the bat- 
ting averages of many stars, Larry continued to hit 
the ball as hard as ever. Once, when asked how he 
managed to hit the moist ball so easily, Larry replied 
simply : " I hit it before it breaks. I stay up in front 
of the box, and when I connect it is little more than 
a fast ball." It was n't long before other batters were 
adopting similar tactics with a great deal of success. 

Larry, like all other great players, no doubt had his 
theories on the art of batting, but he seldom expressed 
them. I have several times heard him remark that 



14 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the best way to get the ball safe was to hit it at a spot 
where no one happened to be playing — "to hit 'em 
where they ain't," as the saying goes. Like Cobb, 
Lajoie insisted that aside from natural ability, confi- 
dence is the batter's next best asset. 

*' I have always imagined that I could hit almost 
any kind of pitching," said Larry; "and I have suc- 
ceeded fairly well. A good many pitchers have la- 
bored under the belief that there was n't any use try- 
ing to fool me. I believe all of this has played a big 
part in my batting ability, a superabundance of confi- 
dence on my part, and a lack of it on the part of the 
pitcher. It gave me the edge. 

'* I am often asked which is the easiest ball for a 
batter to hit. A good many people believe that cer- 
tain styles and kinds of deliveries are much easier to 
hit than others. The easiest kind of a ball to hit varies 
with the batters. Certain players like best to swing 
at a fast ball at the knee, others waist high, some at 
the shoulders, while every now and then you find 
some batter whom pitchers always refer to as a * wild 
pitch hitter.' By that they mean the batter is most 
dangerous when thrown a very bad ball, at which the 
average batter would not think of offering. Some 
players hit a curve ball hard; others are almost help- 
less before that kind of an offering. Batting becomes 
a duel of wits between the batter and the * battery 
men,' by which I mean the pitcher and catcher. If 
the batter has a weakness, the pitcher naturally tries 
to take advantage of that fact, while the batter often 
waits patiently for the pitcher to serve the style of 
ball which is easiest for him to hit. 

" Pitchers have always been kind enough to say that 
I did not have a weakness at the bat. They have al- 
ways contended, however, that I invariably hit bad 




a, 






cr [-1 

p > 

3 2 

§ 5 




THE ART OF BATTING 17 

balls harder than balls right through the heart of the 
plate. I have to agree with them on that point. I 
have always liked a ball just on the outside or inside, 
or a ball a trifle above the shoulder, better than a fast 
ball through the middle, waist high. It has always 
seemed to me that I have been able to get more power 
in my swing, when hitting at the bad balls. A batter 
should always study the style of ball he likes best, and 
should never fail to try for such a ball, when delivered 
by the pitcher. Often he may have to look three or 
four pitches over before he gets one to his liking. 
The pitcher will naturally try to make the batter hit 
directly opposite to what he wants. If the batter is 
wise enough to wait out the pitcher, it is almost certain 
the pitcher will be forced to give the batter some- 
thing approaching what he likes. If the batter waits 
him out, he gets the pitcher into the hole, for trying 
to work him on bad balls. This makes it necessary 
for the pitcher to get the ball over, or walk the bat- 
ter, and every wise pitcher prefers to make the bats- 
man earn his right to first base. That is perhaps one 
failing I have always had. I never waited out the 
pitcher as much as I should. Possibly I can explain 
this failure by the fact that pitchers have always re- 
garded my weakness as a ball right through the heart 
of the plate, while the average batter has a bad ball 
weakness. Naturally a batter can only take three 
balls through the center of the plate, and then go back 
to the bench and get a drink of water, if he lets them 
all go by. 

" In conclusion I would say the successful batter is 
the one with the natural ability, who has confidence in 
himself. He is the fellow who knows his strength 
as well as his weakness at the bat. In the game he is 
constantly trying to take advantage of his strength, 



i8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

while in practice he is always attempting to bolster up 
his weakness. If it happens that you are weakest on a 
curve, insist on crowding the plate as closely as possi- 
ble, without leaving the lines of your position. Don't 
allow the pitcher to drive you back by coming through 
with a fast ball on the inside. If he tries such a ball, 
he is simply trying to intimidate you, to get you away 
from the plate, and then come back with a curve. 
It is not possible to do much with the curve, unless 
you stand close to the plate; all the more so, if it hap- 
pens to be your weakness. Unless you happen to have 
a decided weakness, it is best not to set yourself for a 
particular style of delivery. A batter assumes differ- 
ent positions when striking at different styles of de- 
livery. It is evident that if he sets himself for the 
fast ball, he is at a disadvantage should the pitcher 
toss up a slow one. He can do very little with it. If 
you have no definite weakness, it is best to assume an 
ordinary position, then shift your feet to meet the 
style of delivery that you believe he is about to pitch." 
I have discussed batting with all the great hitters, 
and few of them believe it is possible to develop a 
weak batter into a great one. They all insist that 
hitting is a gift of nature. They do admit it is possi- 
ble to improve, but not to the extent of making a great 
batter out of a poor one. They will admit that, all 
things being equal, the fellow with the confidence, " the 
fight," is by far the most valuable man. Many a great 
minor league hitter fails in the big show, not because 
of lack of ability, but because of lack of confidence. 



H 



II 



SPEED AND THE BASE-RUNNER 

"T TE is the luckiest fellow that ever broke into 
the big league ! " 

That was what major league players in 
general thought about Ty Cobb, after he had been in 
the American League for a few years. Little credit 
was given Cobb for his daring feats on the bases. 
He was simply classed as lucky. Cobb is now, and 
has been for years, one of the real sensations of base- 
ball. Those who insisted, at the start of his career, 
that he was simply lucky are now willing to admit that 
brains and speed, not luck, made possible many of the 
tricks Cobb turned on the bases. 

" Keep a tight hold on that glove of yours, or he 
will be stealing it before you get out of the park ! " 
It was Connie Mack, famous manager of the Phila- 
delphia Athletics, who was speaking. He addressed 
the remark to one of his veteran catchers. It was near 
the close of a game at the old Detroit grounds, some 
years ago. Cobb had reached first by beating out 
a slow hit down the third base-line. On the very first 
ball pitched, he dashed for second. The catcher made 
a perfect throw, and it seemed certain that Cobb would 
be retired. There was a cloud of dust; and when it 
had cleared away, the umpire was standing over the 
play, with palms stretched downward, indicating that 
the runner was safe. Cobb had eluded the touch of 
the infielder, through the medium of the famous fall- 
away slide, which gives the man with the ball little 

19 



20 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

more than the spikes of sliding shoes to touch. No 
one was out at the time; and the batter in an attempt 
to move Cobb to third on a sacrifice, sent up a httle 
pop fly to the catcher, and was out. There has al- 
ways been a certain amount of animosity between Cobb 
and the Athletics. Naturally, when playing against 
the Athletics, Cobb always tries to go at high speed. 
On the first ball pitched to the next batter, Cobb raced 
to third. Once more the catcher made a good throw. 
It was a decidedly close play at third, and there was 
considerable speculation as to just wdiat ruling the um- 
pire might make. But the third base-man helped the 
umpire out of a tight hole by dropping the ball; and 
Cobb was safe. A fly to the outfield meant a run, 
if it was any kind of a drive, for it is mighty hard to 
throw Cobb out at the plate on a fly ball that travels 
any distance. The batter failed in the pinch by strik- 
ing out. The next batter was Claude Rossman, who 
was always really dangerous with the bat. Rossman 
sent a long foul to left, then looked one over, which 
the umpire called a strike, making it two strikes and 
nothing, and putting Rossman in the hole. Cobb was 
standing passively about fifteen feet from third base. 
From his actions, one w^ould have thought he did not 
have the slightest intention to attempt to steal home. 
As the pitcher started his wind-up, Cobb set out for 
the plate at full speed. With a left-hander at the bat, 
it is far more difficult for the runner to steal home, 
than with a right-hander up. The left-handed batter 
gives the catcher a clear view of the play, while he is 
slightly obscured by batters who hit from the right side 
of the plate. Base-runners, as a rule, seldom attempt 
such a feat with a left-hander, because of that very 
reason. A right-handed batter is often able to render 
some assistance in giving the catcher trouble, without 



SPEED AND THE BASE-RUNNER 21 

creating an interference that would be penalized by the 
umpire. The pitch to Rossman was very low, and on 
the inside. It almost struck the ground, pulling the 
catcher away out of position. The back-stop made a 
desperate effort to touch Cobb out, and thought he had 
succeeded in doing so ; but the runner received the bene- 
fit of the doubt from the umpire and was declared 
safe. 

" More Cobb luck ! " was the way the Athletics 
put it, as they went to the bench when the side was 
retired. They figured he should have been retired at 
second, third, and home plate. Failure of the infielder 
to touch him saved him at second, the dropping of the 
ball by the third base-man gave him a life at that sta- 
tion, and they insisted that a poor decision by the um- 
pire helped him out at the plate. The visiting players 
were agreed that no one but Cobb would have gotten 
away with such wild work on the bases. On that 
point they were right, not because Cobb was simply 
lucky, but because the dashing Southerner took chances 
that few, if any, others in base-ball would have at- 
tempted. It was a wonderful exhibition of base-run- 
ning of the most advanced style. The average run- 
ner would have been content to play it safe, and aw^ait 
a base-hit, as the means to send his run across the 
plate. 

In a game against St. Louis, I saw Cobb hit a short 
single to center field. He ran to first at about half- 
speed, turned the bag in a leisurely fashion, and the 
next instant was racing to second like mad! Cobb 
had planned his campaign on the way to first. He 
felt sure that his slow manner of getting down to the 
initial sack would lead the outfielder to believe that he 
had no intention of trying for second. As he rounded 
the bag, his glance in the direction of the outfielder 



22 THE BOYS* BOOK OF SPORTS 

told him his plan had worked. Charley Hemphill was 
playing center field for St. Louis in that game, and 
he was seldom a careless fielder. Picking up the ball, 
he simply lobbed it in to second base. Cobb felt sure 
he could beat the throw, which, aside from being a 
slow one, was six or eight feet wide of the bag. Near- 
ing second, always keeping his eye on the ball which 
was in front of him, he realized a bad bounce had 
caused it to get away from the second base-man. 
Never for a moment slackening his speed, he continued 
on to third ! The throw to get him at that base was 
high, getting away from the third sacker. Amid the 
wild shouts of the crowd, Cobb dashed for the plate 
and reached it in safety! It was another typical ex- 
hibition of Cobb's base-running. 

The average player is more than satisfied if he gets 
away with a steal of home every now and then during 
the regular playing season. In a short series of seven 
games, which is the length of base-ball's classic, the 
"World's Series, stealing home is seldom given the 
slightest consideration by the players. In fact, as a 
rule less chances are taken, because every move is liable 
to prove very costly owing to the shortness of the 
series. If a player tries to achieve something, fails, 
and the next batter follows with a double or triple, 
the fans at once start figuring what probably would 
have happened had the ambitious player " played it 
safe," instead of "taking a w^ld chance," as they 
usually term it when the player is thrown out, even by 
a very close decision. 

Cobb is a wonderful player, with great speed and 
a quick-thinking brain. In the second game of the 
1909 series between Detroit and Pittsburgh, Cobb gave 
a crowd of over thirty thousand fans the thrill of a 
lifetime, for a steal home in a World's Series game 



SPEED AND THE "BASE-RUNNER 23 

is an extremely rare performance. Pittsburgh got 
away to a two-run lead in the first inning. The Tigers 
came back in the second, sending two runs over the 
plate and making things even. In the third inning, 
with the score a tie and the bases filled, Delehanty 
came through with a single that scored two runs, and 
moved Cobb, who was on first at the time, to third. 
At this stage of the game, Manager Clarke took out 
pitcher Camnitz, and sent the veteran Willis to the res- 
cue. The fact that Cobb performed his feat with a 
veteran pitcher in the box, a pitcher reputed a crafty 
boxman, made the performance all the more note- 
worthy. The Pittsburgh team appeared a bit in the 
air, as a result of the batting rally on the part of the 
Tigers. Cobb probably decided that a successful steal 
home would tend to throw them even further off their 
stride. He noticed that pitcher Willis was taking a 
rather long wind-up. On the third ball Willis pitched, 
Cobb made a dash for the plate. Because of his good 
lead and clever slide, Cobb managed to evade the touch 
of catcher Gibson, w^ho was in a bad position, because 
Willis hurried the throw, getting the ball wide of the 
plate. That theft of home seemed to take a lot of 
ginger out of the Pittsburgh team, and Detroit won in 
easy fashion by the score of 7 to 2, notwithstanding 
that the Pirates had won a two-run lead in the opening 
inning. 

Ability to run bases as he does, in addition to his 
skill as a batter, is what makes Cobb so extraordinary 
a player. There are any number of players who can 
hit almost as well; there are any number of players 
who have as much speed; quite a few are even more 
fleet of foot, yet there are few modern players w^ho 
compare with Cobb on the bases. He seems able to 
get a bigger lead than the average player; he seems 



24 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to be able to guess accurately when the pitcher is going 
to deliver the ball, or when he means to throw to first; 
he seems to be able to squirm safely into a base, 
whether the ball is there ahead of him or not, unless 
the fielder blocks him off. 

Base-ball managers aa crying for more players of 
the Cobb type. They vant men who are fast, and 
also willing to take a chance with their speed. A 
player with only fair hitting ability, and plenty of 
speed on the bases, is often given a greater chance to 
display his worth, than a far better hitter who happens 
to be slow of foot. It is no wonder then that base- 
running pla}'s such an important part in base-ball. 

Because of the high premium placed upon the good 
base-runner, it would seem that more attention would 
be paid to this part of the game. Much time and at- 
tention are given to all the minor details of other fea- 
tures of the game — yet but little time is spent in 
learning the fine points of the base-running art. 

Hundreds of times during the season, runners are 
thrown out by a half step. Ability to get away from 
the plate or first base a fraction of a second sooner, 
would have enabled the player to reach his goal in 
safety. Despite this fact, few batters pay any atten- 
tion to the manner in which they get away from the 
plate. Little effort is made to hasten their start. 
Sprinters will tell you that many a race is w^on at the 
crack of the gun. It would seem that many a base-hit 
is lost at the crack of the bat, because of the way the 
average batter gets away from tlie plate. 

George Moriarty, of the Detroit club, could hardly 
have been classed as a " speed merchant," yet IMoriarty 
was one of the best base-runners in the business. He 
was almost at top speed when taking his third step, 
and from third base was away the moment a pitcher 




A SUCCESSFUL SLIDE AT THE HOME BASE 
The runner slid around tha catcher in such a way that the back-stop missed hini 




STEALING THIRD 
This picture shows the runner having slid under the throw 



SPEED AND THE BASE-RUNNER 2j 

started his wind-up. The fact that IMoriarty stole 
home something hke a dozen times during one season, 
is proof of his abihty to run the bases. Here are some 
of the views Moriarty offered on the art of base-run- 
ning : 

" Picking the proper instant to run is of great aid 
to the base-runner," said he. " Very often a close 
study of the pitcher and catcher greatly aids the run- 
ner in this. The runner must get his cue from one or 
the other member of the opposing battery. \i the 
pitcher is a fellow noted for his ability to hold runners 
close to the bases, then special attention must be paid 
to him. I have made a close study of every pitcher I 
have batted against. After you have played against a 
pitcher for a season or two, you get to know any pe- 
culiarities he may have, provided you make a study of 
his pitching movements. The pitchers who have what 
players call a half-balk motion, invariably make some 
particular move when they intend throwing to first 
base. When it is their intention to pitch, this little 
movement is always eliminated from their wind-up. 
It is for the absence of this motion when throwing to 
first, that I am constantly watching. Other conditions 
being satisfactory, I make it a point to dash for the 
next base on that pitch. No two pitchers go through 
exactly the same motions preparatory to pitching or 
throwing to first base. In all my experience in the 
American League, Ed Walsh was the only fellow I 
never could fig-ure out. Walsh undoubtedly developed 
the most deceptive motion I have ever seen. You 
never knew when he was going to pitch. He usually 
outguessed the base-runner, and if you insisted on tak- 
ing the average lead off a base, Walsh was liable to 
catch you flat-footed, and make you look decidedly 
foolish. 



28 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' If, on the other hand, the catcher happens to be 
the foxy member of the battery, one's attention must 
be confined to his movements. When you reach first 
under such conditions, running the bases becomes a 
test of wits between catcher and base-runner. The 
catcher is, of course, going to try to figure on what 
ball you are going to try to steal. He is going to make 
it a point to waste that ball. By * wasting the ball ' is 
meant that the pitcher shall throw it such a distance 
from the plate, that the batter will be unable to hit it. 
This pitch is to be delivered with as little motion as 
possible on the part of the pitcher. The idea always 
is to get the waste ball to the catcher as quickly as pos- 
sible, so as to further increase his chances of throwing 
out the runner. A long wind-up on the part of the 
pitcher would be of great aid to the runner, conse- 
quently pitchers have two styles of deliveries. With 
the bases empty, the pitcher takes as long a wind-up 
as he desires. Many pitchers insist that they can get 
more speed on the ball with the long wind-up. That 
is why some pitchers are said to be less effective when 
runners are on the bases. It is necessary to cut down 
the pitching motion with runners on the bases, to keep 
them from * running wild ' at the expense of the 
catcher; and this, of course, decreases the speed of the 
pitcher, and makes his pitching easier for the batsman. 

*' Realizing that the catcher is keeping his eye con- 
stantly on the base-runner, it becomes the duty of that 
runner to pay as much attention to the catcher. I 
often made trouble for catchers by using what is called 
a * false start/ Being able to get a big lead, I give 
the catcher the impression that I am ready to go down 
on any ball. Often I have made catchers shift at the 
last moment, because they get the impression that I 
am going to steal, on account of the false starts I 



SPEED AND THE BASE-RUNNER 29 

persist in making. Very often it is possible to get 
the pitcher in the hole by such methods. That makes 
the situation all the better for you. It is almost a cer~ 
tainty that, if the first two deliveries are called balls, 
because the catcher is mistaken in believing you are 
going to steal, the pitcher is going to try his best to 
get the next ball over. That enables you to shift your 
style of play if desired, and utilize the hit-and-run, for 
the batsman has the advantage in being almost certain 
that the next ball is going to be over, if the pitcher's 
control does not fail him. 

" Speed is a great asset to a base-runner, but a de- 
ceptive slide is almost as essential. A fast runner 
with a straight slide very often is not nearly as suc- 
cessful in stealing bases, as a fair runner with a fall- 
away slide. The runner with a straight-away slide 
simply goes directly into the base. Such runners are 
easy to touch, for the fielder with the ball realizes they 
are sure to make a direct line for the base. On the 
other hand, the runner with the fall-away has the 
fielder constantly in the air. Wonderfully fast men, 
like Cobb, Lobert, Bescher, Milan and others, can 
hook into the smallest portion of the base, and a 
greater part of the time manage to keep from over- 
sliding, after having gained the base in safety. Such 
runners can shift their slide according to the direction 
of the throw. On a certain kind of a throw, they 
will hook the body in on the infield ; on another throw, 
they will throw the body in the direction of the out- 
field, always making it a point to get the foot in on 
some part of the bag." 

I doubt if there is a man in base-ball who is harder 
to touch than Ty Cobb. Time after time Cobb is de- 
clared safe, when the ball beats him to the bag by 
several feet. Often it looks as if the umpire has ren- 



30 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

dered a bad decision, but it is usually the same old 
stor\'. the base-man failed to touch him. Cobb's slide 
is wonderfully deceptive. I asked him one day how 
he figures situations in advance. Here is what he had 
to say on the subject of sliding: 

" As I near a base, I make it a point to study care- 
fully the position assumed by the man about to take 
the throw. From the position of this fielder, it is 
possible to get a pretty good line on what kind of a 
throw has been made. H the fielder is in front of 
the bag, it becomes the duty of the runner to slide be- 
hind him, — that is, to throw in the foot as you near 
the bag, but twist the body in the direction of the out- 
field. This gives him only the foot to touch. U the 
fielder is taking the throw standing in the rear of the 
bag, it is a wise policy to slide in front of the bag, 
hooking the foot in and throwing the body in the di- 
rection of the infield. The quicker the slide, the more 
difftcult the touch. I make it a point to run almost 
on top of the base-man before hitting the dirt, and 
giving the body a twist to drive me away from the 
base-man. 

*' The player must not forget, too, that there is a 
difference between base-running and mere stealing of 
bases. Conditions of the game must always be con- 
sidered, and good base-running often makes it impera- 
tive that the hit-and-run be used, when the theft of a 
base might make the player's record look better." 



Ill 

FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 

BASE-BALL players are, perhaps, the most su- 
perstitious class of people in the world. That 
statement applies to the amateurs and *' bush 
leaguers " just as strongly as it does to the Big League 
stars. The extent to which they allow themselves to 
be influenced by mere superstition is really surprising. 

Perhaps nothing will illustrate this statement any 
better than a little incident in connection with a recent 
World's Series. The Athletics, a team made up mostly 
of college men, and supposed to possess more intel- 
ligence than the average ball team, were the actors 
in this little comedy of superstition. For years, the 
Philadelphia club has stayed at the same hotel in New 
York, one very close to Forty-second Street. Nat- 
urally, all the hotels were crowded during the series. 
This particular hotel had arranged to take care of the 
players in its customary satisfactory style. It oc- 
curred to Manager Mack that perhaps it might be bet- 
ter to have the players stay at a hotel farther up-town 
during the series. He thought this would enable the 
team to be free from the noise and excitement in the 
down-town hotels. Arrangements for the change had 
been practically completed when the players heard of 
the proposed shift. 

In five minutes, little groups of players could be 
seen in various parts of the hotel lobby engaged in 
earnest conversation. After a time, the various 

31 



32 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

groups got together in one large conference which 
lasted several minutes. Then the meeting ended, and 
one of the players, a college graduate, made his way 
to Manager Mack. He called the latter aside, and ad- 
dressed him in substance as follows : 

" The boys understand that you intend changing 
hotels?" 

" Only during the World's Series," answered Mack. 
*' I thought they would like to get away from the noise 
and bustle." 

" They have delegated me to request that no change 
be made in hotels during the series." 

** Any particular reason for not wanting to change? " 
asked Mack, who failed to see a good reason for the 
request, because in many ways the hotel to which he 
intended to move far surpassed the team's headquar- 
ters at the time. 

" Well, ball-players are superstitious, as you know," 
answered the player. ** We have won several pen- 
nants, and always stayed at this hotel. When we beat 
the * Giants ' for the World's Series in 191 1, we stayed 
at this hotel. And the boys would much prefer stay- 
ing here during the present series. Most of them 
think a change in hotels would surely ' jinx ' or hoodoo 
them." 

" That settles it," answered Mack, with a smile. 
" Right here, then, is where we will stay." 

The player who had acted as a committee of one 
rejoined the others and made known the outcome of 
his conference. And then, to justify their supersti- 
tion, the Athletics went out and beat the Giants four 
out of six games. 

Almost every player has some pet superstition which 
appeals to him very forcibly, and often he makes a 
strong appeal to the superstition to aid him in a pinch. 



FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 33 

Eddie Collins, second baseman extraordinary, a gradu- 
ate of Columbia University, one of the brightest chaps 
in base-ball, always resorts to a profuse scattering of 
the bats when his club is behind and a few runs are 
needed to win or tie the game. It is customary for 
the bats to lie in front of the bench, and it is one of the 
duties of the bat boy to keep them in order. In a pinch, 
Collins proceeds to '' muss up " the thirty or forty bats, 
and when he gets through, they are scattered in all 
directions. This having been done, his team is ex- 
pected to make the necessary runs. 

On Labor Day afternoon some years ago, Phila- 
delphia won a very unusual game from Washington, 
during which Collins did some fancy-work in scatter- 
ing the bats about. It would surprise you to know 
what a prominent part the players believe the bat-scat- 
tering played in the victory. 

The great Walter Jolinson was pitching for Wash- 
ington, and the game had gone into extra innings. In 
the first half of the tenth, Washington scored a run. 
With Johnson going at top speed, this run looked as 
big as a mountain. As the first Athletic player was 
retired in the last half of the tenth, many of the spec- 
tators began to file out of the grounds, in order to get 
an early start for home, as the park was taxed to 
capacity. By the time the second man was retired, 
one fourth of the crowd was outside the park. The 
next batter was Eddie iMurphy, the lead-off man. As 
Murphy started toward the plate, Collins proceeded to 
scatter the bats in all directions. Murphy swung at 
the first ball and missed. The second strike was 
called. With two strikes and no balls on the batter, it 
looked as if Collins's pet superstition had failed to 
work. 

On the next ball pitched Murphy singled cleanly to 



34 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

left field. As the ball left Johnson's hand, practically 
the entire crowd rose to its feet, in order to be on its 
way. It had grown a trifle dark, and Johnson's speed 
was so terrilic that it did not seem possible for any 
one to hit the ball safely. Murphy's single caused a 
portion of the spectators to return to their seats. 
Then came " Rube " Oldring, always a dangerous 
man in the pinch, and a mighty good hitter at any 
stage of the game. Oldring had evidently made up 
his mind to strike at the first ball delivered. Also it 
was evident that he gave the hit-and-run sign to Mur- 
phy, for the latter was in action the moment Johnson 
started his delivery. The ball was a perfect strike; 
Oldring met it squarely, and it sailed on a line to left 
center, evaded Clyde Milan, and rolled to the bleachers. 
Murphy sprinted from first to the plate on the drive, 
and only the fastest kind of fielding on the part of 
Milan held Oldring at second. It was then up to Col- 
lins to deliver the hit that meant the w^inning of the 
game. With some difficulty he found his bat among 
the many he had scattered about in front of the bench. 
Stepping to the batter's box, he hit the second ball 
pitched to right field for a clean single, and Oldring, 
by a magnificent burst of speed and a beautiful head- 
first slide, managed to beat the almost perfect throw 
of Moeller to the plate. It was one of the greatest 
climaxes of a ball game that I have ever w^itnessed. I 
was umpiring at the plate that afternoon, and never 
saw Johnson have more *' stuff." There did not ap- 
pear to be a chance for the Athletics to wnn, with two 
out and two strikes on the batter, but throe clean hits 
in quick succession changed an apparent defeat into a 
glorious victory. But, remember : by the players them- 
selves the scattering of the bats was given as much 
credit for the rally as the hits of Murphy, Oldring, and 



FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 35 

Collins. And, incidentally, the four or five thousand 
who departed before the end of the game are still 
" kicking themselves " for not staying for the finish. 
" Never leave until the last man is out," is a pretty 
good rule to follow in base-ball. 

A loser will do almost anything in base-ball to break 
his run of bad luck. The '' Jonah man " certainly 
pursued that famous manager, Frank Chance, most 
relentlessly a few years ago. There is no denying 
Chance's ability as a manager. His wonderful record 
with the Chicago " Cubs " is ample proof of that. 
However, no manager can compete against strong 
clubs with a weak team, and make much headway. 
That was just what Chance was up against in New 
York at the time. 

The " jinx," as the players term it, worked over- 
time at the Polo Grounds. Despite the fact that the 
club played some exceedingly good games at home, it 
was not until June 7 that Chance succeeded in winning 
his first game of the year at the Polo Grounds. On 
the road the club made a good showing, but, try as it 
might for the first two months of the season, it was 
unable to put over a victory at home. Game after 
game appeared won, only to be lost in the final innings 
by a slump in the pitching or some costly errors. On 
June 7, Chance managed to defeat Chicago by one 
run, and that victory was not certain until a timely 
single by Peckinpaugh in the ninth sent the winning 
run over the plate. Chance proceeded to do a war- 
dance that would have done credit to some Indian 
brave. He reasoned that the hoodoo had been elimi- 
nated ; that from that time on, victories would be more 
frequent. And they w^ere. 

Just to show you to what length a manager will go 
in an effort to get a break in luck, I will relate an oc- 



36 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

currcnce that took place at the Polo Grounds. The 
Boston " Red Sox " were scheduled to play a double- 
header with the New York teani there on June 2. Be- 
fore the beginning of the game, I was sitting on the 
bench with Chance, discussing with him his " run of 
tough luck." Chance was game, and was taking his 
medicine like a man. I remarked that such a break 
in luck could not last forever, and Chance replied that 
he, too, thought it could not, since he had all the " good- 
luck charms " that could be found. Then he took 
from a pocket in his base-ball trousers as varied a col- 
lection of *' hoodoo-busters " as I have ever seen. He 
had all the luck charms that could possibly be gathered 
together. All of them had been sent to him by friends 
and well-wishers. " I 'm putting five new ones into 
service to-day, as well as that old horse-shoe," which 
he had nailed to the top of the bench. ^' I hope to win 
one of these two games to-day." 

The first game looked like a cinch for New York 
until late in the game, when the Red Sox had a bat- 
ting rally, and batted out enough runs to overcome the 
big lead piled on by the home team during the early 
innings. Chance was a sorely disgusted man when I 
went over to get his batting order for the second 
game. 

*' I guess a fellow needs ball-players, not good-luck 
pieces, to win ball games, Billy," said Chance, with a 
smile. *' But, say, have n't you any suggestion to of- 
fer?" 

" You seem to have tried most of them," I answered ; 
" but in the bush leagues I 've seen managers of home 
teams go to bat first, in an effort to change their luck." 
(In base-ball it is customary for the visiting team to 
bat first.) 

'* That is one stunt I have n't tried as yet," replied 



FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 37 

Chance. " When you go over to get the batting order 
from Manager Stahl, tell him that we will go to bat 
first, instead of Boston." 

New York managed to make a couple of runs in the 
opening inning, and Chance again had hopes that luck 
was finally coming his way. But, about the fifth 
inning, Boston made a half dozen runs, and three or 
four more in the next, and before the conclusion of 
the contest, the New York club was again swamped. 

Freak plays, about as weird as some of the supersti- 
tions of star ball-players, often occur in base-ball. 
For a man to bat twice in the same inning, and single 
each time, is rather unusual. For that player to bat 
out of order his second time up, and make a hit that 
decided the game, is very extraordinary as far as the 
Major Leagues are concerned. The climax of the af- 
fair was the loss of his job as a Big Leaguer by the 
player who forgot his turn at bat. Naturally, the 
then luckless New York Americans had to figure in 
this play. 

That club and St. Louis were the contesting teams, 
at St. Louis. The *' Browns " led by a run or two 
until about the seventh inning, when Chance decided to 
call on all his reserve force, with the hope of pulling 
out a victory. He started the inning by going to bat 
himself, in place of the pitcher. He singled, and 
scored a moment later on a single and a double. He 
had started a rally. After scoring his run, he went 
down to the third-base line to coach. With four runs 
in, men on second and third, and one out, one of the 
New York players yelled to Chance from the bench 
that it was his turn to bat again, as he was still in the 
game. Chance responded with a single through short 
that scored two runs, and a moment later he also 
scored. The Yankees had made seven runs in this 



38 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

inning, and had gone into the lead with a comfortable 
margin. 

After the side had been retired, and the second half 
of the inning was about to start, the official scorer dis- 
covered that Chance had batted out of the proper or- 
der. Immediately he made known the error to the St. 
Louis players, but it was too late to rectify the mis- 
take. The rule on this point says that unless the mis- 
take is discovered before a ball is pitched to the fol- 
lowing batter, there is no chance to penalize the bats- 
man who has batted out of turn. Had not St. Louis 
made three runs in the final inning, bringing the score 
to a total of 8 to 6, it is likely that little would have 
been said about the play. Since Chance's second 
single, when he batted out of order, had scored two 
runs, and he had tallied later, the error was the turn- 
ing-point in the game. With these three nms ruled 
out, St. Louis would have won 6 to 5. That club pro- 
tested the game, but of course they gained nothing. 

The man who was playing short-stop for the New 
York club that afternoon and batting eighth, was re- 
sponsible for the mix-up. Since Chance had batted 
for the pitcher his first time at bat, it was necessary 
that he again bat in the pitcher's place. Instead of 
doing this, he batted in place of the short-stop, who 
did not go to the plate at all in an inning in which seven 
runs were scored. Cliance then and there decided that 
any player who could not remember his position in 
the batting order belonged to some other club. 

I had a play come up once in a very important game 
which, while not unusual, was just confusing enough 
to the crowd to draw upon me its censure at the time, 
although I was forced to rule the way I did. Late in 
the game, with the visiting team three runs behind, one 
of the visitors reached first base on a clean single. 



FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 39 

The next batter gave the hit-and-run sign to the man on 
first. The catcher anticipated the play and called for 
a pitch-out, and then, in his anxiety to get the ball, and 
realizing that he must make a hurried throw, acci- 
dentally tipped the batter's bat at just about the time 
the bat hit the ball. It is possible that the accidental 
interference in no way affected the play; but that has 
nothing to do with the case. It was a fast grounder 
to the short-stop, who tossed the ball to the second 
baseman, apparently forcing out the man from first 
on a very close play. The second baseman wheeled 
quickly, and by a perfect throw managed to get the 
ball to first an instant ahead of the runner. 

The home crowd was jubilant. It was sure that 
this fast fielding had killed any chance the visitors 
might have had in that inning. I was umpiring balls 
and strikes that afternoon, and after the umpire on 
base decisions had waved out both men, it became nec- 
essary for me to get into the argument. The rule on 
interference by the catcher is very plain; it simply en- 
titles the batsman to first base, other runners advanc- 
ing only when forced. Instead of allowing the double 
play, I granted first base to the batsman who had been 
interfered with by the catcher, and sent the runner who 
had been on first to second, although he had apparently 
been retired at that base. That left two men on the 
bases, with no one out. The next batter responded 
with a fly-ball, which would have made the third out 
and retired the side, had there been no interference. 
It was a bad break in luck, for the next four men hit 
safely, five runs resulting before the side was retired. 
The visiting team won the game that afternoon by a 
one-run margin, and naturally the entire blame for the 
defeat was placed on my shoulders by a majority of 
the fans, simply because they did not understand what 



40 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

had happened on the ball-field. Only the fact that 
none of the players in any way disputed the decision 
saved considerable trouble. A great many of the fans 
evidently knew that the umpire must have been cor- 
rect in his ruling, since the verdict was not disputed 
in the sliglitest. 

Losing track of the number of men out, or the 
number of innings played, has been responsible for 
some of the freakiest plays imaginable. It would be 
utterly impossible to produce such plays unless some 
one slumbered on the job. To illustrate: 

Several years ago, two of the leading teams in the 
National League were engaged in a very important 
contest. With the beginning of the last half of the 
ninth, the visiting team enjoyed a two-run lead. It 
is customary among ball-players always to keep the 
ball that ends the game, provided their side is vic- 
torious. In the last half of the ninth in this particular 
game, the home team managed to fill the bases, with 
one down. For some reason, the right-fielder of the 
visiting club got the notion that two were out. When 
the batter sent a fly to right field, and that gentleman 
had made the catch, he hiked to the club-house at full 
speed, believing the game finished. As he made the 
catch and demonstrated his fleetness of foot in a dash 
for the club-house, the three base-runners made a dash 
for the plate, while the crowd yelled like mad. It was 
simply impossible for his team-mates to attract the at- 
tention of the right-fielder and make him realize what 
a terrible '' bone " he was pulling. Before he could be 
reached, the three runners had crossed the plate, and 
the home team had won the game. None of the home 
players made any attempt to get that ball, even though 
they had won the game! 

A play almost as unusual happened in the Eastern 



FREAK PLAYS AND SUPERSTITIONS 41 

League. At all ball-parks it is customary to have a 
score board, to give the results of the home game and 
other games throughout the League. Very often 
through carelessness the man who operates the board 
makes a mistake. That is what he did on the day in 
question, and the center-fielder followed suit. In some 
way, the score-board man got an extra inning on the 
board, so that when the home team was playing the 
last half of the eighth inning, the score-board showed 
they were playing the last half of the ninth. 

When the outfielder went to his position, he glanced 
at the board (as he afterward explained), and saw, ac- 
cording to the board, that the final inning was being- 
played. The score at the time was tied. The home 
team got a man as far as third, with two down, when 
the batter hit a sharp single to left center. Believing 
it was the ninth inning, and that the hit meant the 
winning of the game, the center-fielder, after starting 
after the ball, changed his mind in favor of the club- 
house. Before the left-fielder could retrieve the ball, 
the batter had made a home run, w^here he would have 
been lucky to have stretched it into a double, had it 
been properly fielded. The " bonehead play " had 
presented the home team with a run, and of course 
they won the game. The visiting team made a run in 
the first half of the ninth, which would have tied up 
the game, but as it did not, the home team won 3 
to 2. 

Freak plays and pet superstitions are two interest- 
ing features of base-ball. It is surprising the way the 
athletes will allow their brains to wander in these two 
directions. Lajoie never stepped to the plate without 
drawing a line with his bat. That is part of the bat- 
ting art to Larry, and is regarded as absolutely es- 
sential. I do not believe that " Doc " White ever 



42 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

started an inning without throwing a curve as the last 
ball in the warm-up practice with his catcher. To do 
otherwise, in " Doc's " mind, would be tempting fate. 
I know of any number of players who absolutely re- 
fuse to step into the batter's box in front of the catcher. 
They insist on making a detour behind the catcher 
and umpire, even though they are forced to walk to 
the grand stand to do it. I know one great hitter who 
would not think of stepping to the plate until the 
team's hunchback mascot had caressed his bat. Sam 
Crawford, star slugger of the " Tigers," turns out his 
own bats. None but his make would do. Ball-play- 
ers, even the most intelligent, have pet superstitions 
many of which would have been ridiculed when witch- 
craft flourished. 



IV 

THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT AND THE FOXY 
MANAGER 

HOW CONNIE MACK DIFFERS FROM OTHER 

MANAGERS 

He scores every game his team plays. His score card cov- 
ers every minute detail of the contest. 

He holds a daily conference with his players, and points out 
mistakes of the previous day. Often, he maps out plans for 
the afternoon's game in advance. 

He conducts his campaign entirely from the bench, and re- 
treats to the club-house as the last man is retired. 

He always has three or four of his brainiest and seasoned 
players acting as lieutenants; and courts their advice in 
mapping out campaigns on the ball-field. Such players 
are usually referred to as " Mack's board of strategy." 

His voice is never heard in protest on the field. He has 
never been ejected from the bench by an umpire; and has 
yet to be fined or suspended for breaking any of the laws 
laid down by President Johnson of the American League. 

He has no set rules governing the actions of his seasoned 
players when they are at bat. He lets them use their own 
judgment if he knows they are " quick thinkers." He may 
give a player orders, but he does not expect them to be 
carried out if conditions should make them appear suicidal. 

He never openly calls down a recruit in angry tones for a 
mistake, but quietly corrects him when they are alone. 

He favors developing young players who show promise by 
keeping them on the bench for several years. He used 
that system in molding most of his present-day stars. 

He places his men entirely on their honor throughout the 
season. 

43 



44 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

WHERE does he get them?'' 
That is a common question every time 
" Connie Mack " (which is the well-known, 
abbreviated name of Cornelius McGillicuddy, the 
famous leader of the Athletics) springs some youthful 
sensation on the base-ball world. 

No manager in the history of base-ball has ever had 
such wonderful success at developing stars out of play- 
ers practically unknown to the base-ball fans until in- 
troduced by the wily Mack. Perhaps a good answer 
to the query would be: " They just naturally come." 

Several years ago, a very good friend of mine acted 
as base-ball coach for one of the larger universities. 
He also acted as scout for a Major League team dur- 
ing the summer, when his services as a teacher of base- 
ball were not required by the university. During the 
spring, I paid my friend a visit of a few days, and, of 
course, spent much of my time watching him drill his 
** Rah! Rah! " boys in the art of playing the national 
pastime properly. 

After watching the boys toss the ball around for 
ten or fifteen minutes on my first visit, my attention 
was directed to a big, husky fellow who was warming 
up. His easy, graceful delivery reminded me some- 
what of the style used by the great Walter Johnson, 
and I watched him closely. In about five minutes he 
was properly warmed up, and began " cutting loose." 
I made my way over and took a position that would 
enable me to look over his stock in trade. He had 
all the ear-marks of a Big Leaguer. 

Walking back to where the coach was busy drilling 
some of his newest recruits, I asked the name of the 
big fellow. *' He is the varsity first-string pitcher," 
was the response. " What do you think of him? " 

" Think of him? " I replied. " You don't have to 



THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT 45 

think about that chap. He is there with the goods. 
All I hope is that some club in the American League 
lands him, for he is certain to be a star." 

'' There 's no chance for any club to get him, but 
should he play ball, it will be with an American League 
team," answered the coach. 

" Of course with the team you are scouting for? " 

" I should say not," replied the coach. *' The club 
I represent is one club he won't play for. For some 
reason he does n't like the owner of the club I am 
scouting for, and he refuses to listen to my plea in 
that connection." 

*' What team does he intend signing with ? " I asked. 

" Connie Mack's is the only team that gets the slight- 
est consideration. If he ever plays the professional 
game, it will be with Mack. There is n't much chance 
though, for he is a very wealthy chap, and I under- 
stand he is to marry very shortly a young lady who 
does n't look on the professional side of base-ball with 
favor. He '11 never be a Big Leaguer." 

As I pondered over what the coach had said about 
his star pitcher, I partially solved the answer to the 
question I had heard over and over again, " Where does 
he get them? " I wondered why this young man had 
such a preference for the Athletics, and why he was 
satisfied that the Philadelphia club was the only one 
he really cared to play for. I determined to try to 
find out, if only to satisfy my own curiosity. After 
the work-out was over, and the players had donned 
street attire, I was introduced to the varsity pitcher 
by the coach, and gradually I worked around to the 
point where I could pointedly ask him why he con- 
sidered only the Philadelphia club. He replied : 

'' The real reason for my favoring Manager Mack 
is because I know Manager Mack favors collegians. 



46 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

I think the college player has a better chance under 
Mack than he has under any other manager. If I 
took up professional base-ball as a business, I should 
want to succeed; to be a star. I think my chance for 
success would be greatly enhanced under Mack's di- 
rection. College players w^ho join his club are a suc- 
cess, in the majority of cases. Every college fellow 
I have ever met speaks well of Mack and the treat- 
ment that he accords his players. I never met Mr. 
Mack, but have had some correspondence with him, and 
if I ever play professional ball, it will be on his team." 

That was several years ago. Unfortunately for 
Mack, the player never joined the professional ranks. 
His failure to do so undoubtedly resulted in a loss to 
the American League of a phenomenal pitcher. He 
still pitches, but merely for the fun he gets out of it. 
Recently I saw him pitch a game against a strong semi- 
professional team, and he simply toyed with them, 
striking out fifteen men. It was reported that Mack 
tried to induce him to join his team in 19 13 when the 
Athletics' staff was wobbling, but failed. 

This simply goes to show where Mack really does 
get some of his stars, and it also explains why some 
of these stars are with the Mackmen. For a number 
of years, Manager Mack w^as the only leader who re- 
garded the college player with favor. The great suc- 
cess he has had with them has won over practically 
every other leader to that type of athlete. Now col- 
lege players are warmly welcomed on all the clubs, and 
receive every consideration possible. 

Connie Mack is truly the " somewhat-different " 
type of manager. He " gets results " in his own 
peculiar way, and he surely does get results! He 
makes stars out of unknowns, and makes them in a 
hurry if necessity demands quick action. He prefers 



THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT 47 

developing men by letting them warm the bench, rather 
than sending them to the Minor Leagues. This is a 
custom contrary to that of most managers. Mack's 
reasons for this system follow : 

"If you were going to send a boy to college, and 
had the proper means, the wise course would be to 
select one of the leading institutions of learning," 
argues Mack. " Such colleges have the best profes- 
sors and the best equipment. The surroundings are 
usually the best, and environment plays a big part in 
a fellow's career, whether in base-ball or other busi- 
ness. I liken the Big Leagues to the better institutions 
of learning. I liken the wise managers and star play- 
ers to the leading college instructors. I think a player 
with the ability to succeed has a much better chance 
to develop sitting on the bench surrounded by the stars 
of the game and constantly observing the best there is 
in base-ball, than he has if sent to some Minor League, 
and started in the wrong direction. The mere coming 
in contact with stars, rubbing elbows wnth them, gives 
the player a polish that cannot possibly be attained in 
the minors." 

There is no denying the fact that there is a lot of 
logic in Mack's line of reasoning. He insists that 
much of the success of his twirlers is due to pitching 
pointers given them by the stars of his staff. He 
claims that a veteran is of great aid in acquainting 
his young catchers with the weakness of the several 
batters, and the finer points of the back-stopping game. 
Mclnnis, the wonderful first baseman of Mack's team, 
gladly gives the veteran Harry Davis credit for much 
of his knowledge as to how first base should be played. 
It is certain that no young player could ever get such 
high-class instruction in the minors. And to top it all 
off, there are the words of wisdom from the great 



48 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

manager. Mack's methods ha\'e surely proven a great 
success — for Mack. 

Harmony is perhaps the biggest cog in the success 
of the Mack machine. The Philadelphia Athletics are 
one big, happy family. Mack would sacrifice the best 
player on his team if he proved to be a jarring note. 
He has allowed several crack youngsters to slip through 
his fingers simply because they did not behave as Mack 
thought youngsters should, and because he feared one 
bad performer might lead a number of good ones 
astray. Just to illustrate what consideration Mack 
has for his men, when the question of the habits of 
a player is raised, I will cite an incident of a number 
of years ago. Mack had a chance to get a catcher who 
was a star, but who, because of his habits, was about 
to drift to the minors. During one of his daily con- 
ferences with his players, he put the question straight 
to them : 

" Boys, I have a chance to get a great catcher for 
practically nothing. All the other clubs have waived 
on him because of his reputation. If he could be made 
to brace up, he w^ould strengthen our club greatly. It 
is up to you, boys, as to whether or not I get him." 

" Let us get the player, and you place the responsi- 
bility for his conduct in our hands," said one of the 
players. A total abstainer was made the room-mate 
of the star catcher, and every member of the team 
made it a point to keep the big fellow in the straight 
and narrow path. In a month the catcher was an 
entirely different fellow. In the club to which he for- 
merly belonged he had been shunned to a great extent 
by the majority of the players. With the Athletics, 
he found conditions exactly the reverse. Every player 
was making it a point to impress on him what a good 
fellow he was, and how much his catching meant to 



THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT 49 

the team's success. The catcher took far better than 
the average care of himself, and for years was one of 
the team's mainstays behind the bat. 

Some managers make it a point to openly criticize a 
player for a mistake, especially if the player has made 
a glaring error that indirectly reflects on the managerial 
ability of the man in charge. Youngsters, as a rule, 
make more mistakes than veterans, and naturally many 
of the " call-downs " fall on the heads of the recruits. 
Perhaps any person who has ever attended a ball game 
can remember having heard a remark like this, from 
some fellow-spectator : 

*' I '11 wager the manager is giving it to him for that 
blunder ! " 

Such a rebuke, if delivered in the open, shifts atten- 
tion from the manager to the player. It is very ques- 
tionable, however, if such things help to develop the 
man who made the error. Mack is one who firmly be- 
lieves that all these methods retard the player's prog- 
ress, and very often destroy the ability and consequently 
the value of the player in question. In connection 
with Mack's ideas along these lines, let me recall an 
incident of a game in Detroit several years ago. 

At the time, the Athletics and the " Tigers " were 
fighting for the pennant. The game was a very slow 
one. One of Mack's outfielders, then very much of 
a youngster, but now rated as one of the best in the 
business, made the mistake that cost the game. Al- 
though he had often been told how to play for a cer- 
tain hitter on the Detroit team, on this occasion he 
shifted to the opposite side from the one he should 
have taken. As a result he muffed a fly ball, after a 
hard run, that would have been an easy out had he 
played properly for the batter. As the inning closed, 
I walked over to the Philadelphia bench to get a drink. 



50 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

While I was there the player who made the error ar- 
rived at the bench. Before he had a chance to utter 
a word, Mack said : 

" No outfielder could have got that ball. Nothing 
but your speed enabled you to get your hands on it. 
At that you would have held it, had not that high wind 
been blowing." 

All of this was true, but Mack said nothing to the 
player about being away out of his position. The next 
day he told him about it, when the two met in the hotel 
lobby. And never since has that outfielder made a 
mistake in position when playing for that Detroit bats- 
man. 

Mack instructs his men along the lines employed by 
college coaches. A daily conference is held by the 
Mackmen throughout the season. When on the road 
the meeting is held in Manager Mack's room at the 
hotel; w'hen at home, in the players' dressing-room at 
the ball park. There the players go over the game of 
the day previous, point out mistakes that were made, 
and the faults that cropped out. Often plays that 
proved successful, but could have been made differently 
and with a much better chance of success, are dis- 
cussed. 

Frequently plans for the afternoon's battle are 
mapped out in advance as far as it is possible to an- 
ticipate base-ball conditions. The weak points in the 
offense and defense are pointed out by Manager Mack, 
and the players are urged to take advantage of any 
openings. Players are instructed definitely as to how 
to play for certain batters who invariably hit the ball 
in one direction. That accounts for the way outfield- 
ers shift some twenty or thirty yards for certain bat- 
ters. Suggestions are always welcomed from any 
player on the team, and very often one of the recruits 



THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT 51 

will offer the best advice of the confab. Thus Man- 
ager Mack has every member of his club constantly 
working for its best interests, because he knows that 
any suggestions are always welcome. 

In 1909, George Mullin, then the star of the Detroit 
pitching staff, was the sensation of the American 
League. Scarcely a game passed in which he worked 
that Mullin did not do something out of the ordinary. 
That year he led the American League in pitching, and 
was the star of the Detroit team in the World's Series 
with Pittsburgh. 

When the Detroit club reached Philadelphia that 
year, Mullin had ten straight victories to his credit. 
It was presumed that Jennings would start him in the 
first game against the Athletics, and in all probability 
send him back in the last game of the series. The 
question that concerned the Athletics was how to stop 
Mullin, and it was the cause of much study on the 
part of every member of the team. 

At one of the conferences, held several days prior 
to the arrival of the Tigers, Mullin came up for dis- 
cussion. Strangely enough, the discussion had little 
to do with MuUin's pitching, but concerned his bat- 
ting. During his career as a Big Leaguer, Mullin has 
always been regarded as a dangerous hitter. He made 
a healthy swing at the ball, picked out the good ones, 
and was always liable to break up a game with a long 
drive. Mullin took almost as much pride in his bat- 
ting as he did in his pitching. It was around his bat- 
ting ability that the crafty Mackmen spun a web meant 
to reduce his pitching effectiveness. 

One of the Athletic players said that he had always 
observed that Mullin was more effective in the box 
when he was meeting with success at bat ; and argued 
that if the Athletics could stop Mullin's hitting, his 



52 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

pitching would be sure to suffer. Most of the other 
Athletic players agreed with their team-mate, that base- 
hits were almost as sweet to Mullin as victory itself. 
That point having been settled, it was up to Manager 
Mack to select the pitcher who was most effective 
against Mullin, to oppose him. Mack, upon looking 
over his trusty score cards, discovered that Bender al- 
ways troubled Mullin when at bat, and confided to the 
Indian that he was the pitcher who would oppose Mul- 
lin. When the Tigers trotted onto the field for the 
first game of the important series. Mack watched the 
Detroit pitchers closely. When it appeared certain to 
him that Mullin would work, he sent Bender out to 
warm up. The Indian happened to be in superb form 
that day, and probably would have beaten any pitcher. 
It is enough to say that he kept Mullin from doing any 
hitting whatever, and the Tigers left the field defeated 
— the first time that season such a thing had happened 
W'ith Mullin doing the pitching. 

Manager McGraw, of the New York " Giants," 
equally famous as a base-ball leader, is almost the 
direct opposite of Mack. IMcGraw has few college 
men on his team. Perhaps he has nothing against 
the collegian, but simply has not been fortunate enough 
to pick up any good raw material from the college 
nines. At the art of trading, McGraw is a regular 
David Harum. At any time his club is wavering, he 
seems able to go out and put through a deal that will 
strengthen it in the very position where it has seemed 
weakest. McGraw forgets the past, plays in the pres- 
ent, but is constantly looking into the future. 

The theory on which the McGraw school of base-ball 
is run is that the manager must be absolute in his lead- 
ership. He must never consult with his players. 



THE UNKNOWN RECRUIT 53 

Mathewson was perhaps the only New Yorker who was 
ever taken into AIcGraw's confidence. He reasons that 
the manager should assume the entire responsibility, 
and shoulder all the blame. McGraw never censures a 
player for making an error, but let one of the players 
*' pull a ' bone,' " as the saying goes, and he never for- 
gets it. Indeed, he makes it a point to mention it at 
stated intervals. 

McGraw teaches his men not to let the loss of a sin- 
gle game, or a bunch of games, upset them. He im- 
presses on them the fact that a team is built to last a 
season, not to go to pieces when it meets a few re- 
verses. The percentage of victories at the finish, not 
the outcome of this or that game, definitely decides the 
pennant winner. He seldom puts a certain pitcher in 
to win a certain game, but rather works the men in 
regular order. Mack, on the other hand, shifts his 
pitchers to suit his opinions. In some particular series, 
he will work a pitcher twice, and then perhaps not use 
him again for five or six days. 

That McGraw believes the manager should reign su- 
preme was forcibly impressed on me during the series 
between the Boston " Red Sox " and the New York 
Giants for the World's Championship in 19 12. It was 
late in the game, and the Giants appeared to have a 
chance to w^in. If I am not mistaken, with one out, 
Catcher Meyers had reached third base on a drive to 
the left-field wall. Boston was a run ahead at the time, 
and a hit would have tied the game. I was umpiring 
on the bases in that game, and was standing almost di- 
rectly behind the bag, so as to be in a good position to 
judge a snap-throw from the catcher or pitcher, and 
also to observe if the runner held the base in case a fly 
ball was hit and he made an attempt to score. 



54 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

As the next batter approached the plate, I heard 
McGraw say in a tone that made it plain he wanted his 
orders obeyed : 

"If a fly ball is hit to the outfield, I want you to 
make an attempt to score. Go through with the play 
at any cost." The batter did hit a fly ball, which 
Speaker captured. It would scarcely be correct to say 
it was a fly to the outfield, for Speaker captured it a 
very short distance back of second base. Speaker is 
known to have a strong throwing arm, and to be very 
accurate. It looked foolish for Meyers to try to score, 
but he made a break for the plate as Speaker grabbed 
the ball. When half-way in, Meyers saw the throw 
would beat him by twenty feet, and he turned and made 
a dash back toward third. If Cady had handled the 
ball cleanly, it is very questionable if Meyers would 
have been able to get back. It so happened that Cady 
fumbled the ball, and had so much trouble recovering 
it, that Meyers might have scored if he had gone 
through, as McGraw had advised. 

McGraw was furious at the outcome of the play. 

*' I thought I told you to go through with the play at 
any cost," said he to Meyers in an angry voice. 

" I did n't think I had a chance," answered Meyers. 

" You 're not supposed to think when I 'm coach- 
ing ! " replied McGraw. 

" I would have looked like a joke had I gone through 
with the play and Cady had handled the ball cleanly." 

" Nobody would have said a word to you. / would 
have been roasted, since I was the coacher," responded 
McGraw. Then the third out was made, and I missed 
the rest of what McGraw had to say as the catcher 
walked to the bench to don his mask and protector. 

Mack and McGraw are both great, but entirely dif- 
ferent. Take your choice. 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 

BASE-BALL is largely a game of trying to out- 
guess the other fellow. Each side is con- 
stantly trying to do the unexpected, and at the 
same time attempting to anticipate what the opposition 
intends to do. Every move of the members of the 
other team is watched closely. Let the slightest weak- 
ness be ^hown in any department, and immediately ad- 
vantage is taken of the opening. Snap judgment is a 
very necessary requisite on the part of the managers, 
as well as the players. As in every other business, the 
man who displays the best judgment and does the 
quickest thinking lands on top in the long run. 

A number of years ago, an enterprising young re- 
porter was delegated to get an interview with the late 
Ed Delehanty on the art of batting. At that time, 
Delehanty was regarded as the premier hitter in the 
Big League, the American League not being in exist- 
ence. It was the purpose of the young man to find out 
from Mr. Delehanty just how he managed to hit all the 
various shoots and curves served up by the opposing 
pitchers. The managing editor of the paper on which 
the reporter worked believed such a story would 
greatly help ambitious players in their efforts to be- 
come crack hitters. 

After camping on Delehanty's trail for some time, 
the reporter managed to hold the star player's attention 
long enough to make known his desire. Delehanty 
was never much of a talker, and immediately became 

55 



56 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

about as noisy as the Sphinx. To the volley of ques- 
tions iired at him, he invariably replied : 

'* I really don't know how I hit 'em." " They meet 
the bat and bound off." " It just ' comes natural,' I 
guess." Failing to get anything worth while, the cub 
reporter requested Delehanty to think it over, so the 
story goes, and leave a note in his box telling how best 
to hit the ball to put it in safe territory. 

The following morning, the reporter lost no time in 
opening the letter which Delehanty left. DelehaJity 
could advance no particular reason for his batting abil- 
ity other than that it was " just natural." However, 
such a theory did not appeal to the' reporter, as it of- 
fered no possibilities for a story. So not caring to 
disappoint the young man, who was a likable chap, he 
decided he must try to answer the very perplexing 
question. But it was evident that he did not ponder 
long, and he afterward insisted that he believed his 
reply would be a good joke on the reporter, for his 
brief note read: 

'' Just hit 'em where they ain't." 

That expression, as framed by Delehanty on the art 
of batting, has become a base-ball classic. As long as 
the great national pastime is played, the fans will im- 
plore their favorites to '' hit 'em where they ain't." 
On opening the note, the young reporter was very 
much disappointed with the words of wisdom as ut- 
tered by the game's greatest hitter. Finally, the possi- 
bilities of the remark dawned on him, and he turned 
out a big story on the subject, and so he made a decided 
hit with his managing editor. 

Several years ago, I was seated on the bench of the 
Philadelphia American League team just before time 
to start the game. I noted that Connie IMack was 
being subjected to an interview by a young man who 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 57 

appeared to be just out of college. I judged this from 
the style of his wearing apparel and the way he dressed 
his hair. From the conversation I learned that the 
young man was writing a big " feature story," and 
sought to learn from Mack to what he ascribed the suc- 
cess of his club. When it comes to talking about the 
other clubs, Mack is always willing to express an opin- 
ion, and he always has a good word for his opponents. 
In fact, he is a believer in the adage, ''If you can't 
boost, don't knock." When it comes to discussing his 
players, and his team's chances, he closes up like a 
clam. The reporter was a persistent chap, and as but 
a few minutes remained for Connie to decide on his 
line-up, he spoke to the young man about as follows : 

** I always like to have my team doing the very 
thing the other fellows don't expect them to do. My 
boys always try to do that. Often they fail, but I 
don't mind that, for more often they succeed in their 
efforts to outguess the other fellows, and win. Do 
what the other fellows don't expect, and you will keep 
them rather busy." 

" Do what the other fellows don't expect," appeals 
to me as being as much of a base-ball classic as " Hit 
'em where they ain't." 

The greatness of nine out of every ten star players, 
or teams, hinges on doing the unexpected. There are 
hundreds of mechanical players who can hit the ball, 
catch it, and run the bases. They are valuable, of 
course, but it is always possible to measure their value. 
The opposition knows that they will take few, if any, 
chances when they get on the bases, and that they are 
usually content to leave their advancement to the men 
who follow them in the batting order, rather than 
make an effort to move up through their own efforts. 
Stars like Cobb, Speaker, or any of the other leaders, 



58 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

are classed as stars because they do things out of the 
ordinary. They are constantly matching their wits 
with their rivals', and afe always ready to take a chance 
at the bat, on the bases, or in the field, and ever alert 
to spring a surprise. 

For years, the real value of that great player Tyrus 
Cobb was underrated simply because he did not receive 
full credit for the results he achieved. When he per- 
formed a feat out of the ordinary, as the result of some 
quick thinking and the taking of a long chance, the cry 
invariably was made that he was ** lucky." There is 
no doubt that Cobb is lucky to get away with many of 
the things he attempts; but he himself creates his luck. 
Many of the chances he takes in the field and on the 
bases would never for a moment be considered by the 
average player. 

Stealing home in a regular game is out of the or- 
dinary; in an event like a World's Series game, it is 
very extraordinary. Cobb is the only player who ever 
turned the trick. He did it in the series of 1909, be- 
tween Detroit and Pittsburgh. 

I once heard a player remark that the only sure way 
to make a play on Cobb was to throw to the base ahead 
of the one he was approaching. The remark was 
made lightly, but in truth it seemed the only safe way, 
for Cobb was literally running wild, and getting away 
with it. And I know one player who did the very 
thing suggested in a joking manner by the Big League 
player. However, he had never heard of the " throw 
to the base ahead " theory, for he was a Cuban, and 
could not understand the English language. 

The play happened during one of a series of games 
in the fall of 1910, at Havana, Cuba, between native 
teams and the Detroit club. In the first and again in 
the fifth inning of the game, Cobb, after getting on 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 59 

first, went to third while Sam Crawford was being 
thrown out at first on a bunt. The first baseman made 
a good throw each time. In fact, they were so good 
that they resulted disastrously. The ball and Cobb 
seemed to arrive at the bag at the same time, with the 
result that the ball got away from the third baseman 
each time, and Cobb reached the home plate in safety 
on both occasions. In the eighth inning of the game, 
Cobb and Crawford pulled the play again. This time 
the first baseman, Castillo, seeing that not even a per- 
fect throw would land the " Tiger " star, threw the ball 
to the catcher, thereby at least preventing Cobb from 
scoring. Then Castillo doffed his cap, and the Cuban 
fans yelled with delight at the bit of ** by-play " on the 
part of their favorite. 

Tyrus Cobb is a big star in the base-ball world be- 
cause he is an extraordinary fellow in every sense of 
the word. He has a keen brain, and always antici- 
pates the likely-to-happen, thus preparing himself for 
any situation that may arise. When at the bat, there is 
no telling what he intends to do. He hits pretty well 
to any part of the outfield, is a good bunter, chops 
them to the infield, and always waits for the pitcher to 
give him one that he likes. He is constantly " mixing 
them up," thereby keeping the opposition constantly 
uneasy. He may try to bunt the first one and fail. 
Then when the third baseman, tliinking that possibly 
he will try again, comes tearing in on the next one 
pitched, Cobb is very liable to hit one back at him at 
a rate of a mile a minute. When he gets on the bases 
— and you can take it from me he is on them a goodly 
portion of the time — there is no chance too daring 
for him to risk. Cobb surely is the unexpected in base- 
ball, from any angle from which you care to consider 
him. 



6o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Naturally one of the greatest assets of a pitcher is 
his ability to outguess the batter; to mix them up, and 
serve just the style of ball the batter does not expect. 
Many star batsmen are said to have a " weakness." 
That means that a certain style of ball is hard for them 
to hit. Pitchers with brains always make it a point to 
take advantage of such a fault. There are, of course, 
a number of batters who can hit almost any style of 
pitching. Christy Mathewson said that Hans Wag- 
ner's only " weakness " was a base on balls; that giving 
him his base usually prevented him from hitting a 
double, triple, or a home run. And in that connection 
Eddie Plank, the Athletics' great left-hander, once 
made a most novel comparison in discussing the rela- 
tive merits of those two great batters Larry Lajoie and 
Ty Cobb. " Ty makes you put them over, and then 
hits them safe," said Eddie, " while Lajoie hits them 
a mile whether they are over or not." 

Lajoie was a wonderful batter ; few greater have ever 
stepped to the plate. Pie was always dangerous when 
he faced the pitcher, and usually did his best batting 
in the pinch, when most depended on his efforts. He 
was perhaps most dangerous when a pitcher was trying 
to pass him. By reason of his long having been known 
as a " bad ball " hitter, pitchers seldom gave him a ball 
across the heart of the plate. They seemed afraid to 
take such a chance. And I believe Larry would have 
increased his batting average at least thirty points if he 
had waited out the pitchers more. He doted on what 
would be called wild pitches or waste balls, and which 
tlie average batter would find it impossible to hit. I 
have umpired in a dozen games that Lajoie had broken 
up by hitting a waste ball, after the pitcher had been 
ordered to pass him and take a chance on the next bat- 
ter. His bat seemed to be built of sections. At least I 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 6i 

have heard several pitchers express that opinion, after 
Larry, without any effort, had hit a ball that was a 
foot outside. Larry was a great hitter, great because, 
as Eddie Plank says, he hit them whether they were 
over the plate or not. 

Connie Mack is rated as one of the greatest, if not 
the greatest, man in base-ball. He is great because he 
always has the opposition '' up in the air " as to his 
movements. The Athletics play all varieties of base- 
ball, and play them all well. Mack has but to order 
the style he desires displayed, and his athletes do the 
rest. No general ever manoeuvered his army wnth 
greater cleverness than that with which J\Iack handles 
his selection of pitchers. He seems to be able to know 
by instinct just the proper moment to send in reinforce- 
ments. 

The overwhelming defeat of the Chicago " Cubs " 
in 19 lo was quite a surprise to the base-ball world, and 
to Cub fans in particular. But not to those who really 
knew the great strength of jMack's team, and the re- 
sourcefulness of the tall leader. Mack completely out- 
guessed the opposition in that series. He did the very 
thing Chance and the rest of the Cubs did not expect 
him to do, and it was the doing of the unexpected that 
put the Cub machine to rout. 

During the season of 1907, and for several years fol- 
lowing, the pitchers in the American League appeared 
to have the edge on the batters. Low scores were the 
rule, and one run decided a majority of the games. As 
a result, the clubs for the most part were playing one- 
run base-ball, which calls for the use of the sacrifice hit 
very frequently. The League was criticized for not 
mixing up its play enough, for not possessing the varied 
style of attack boasted of by a majority of the Na- 
tional League teams. When American League clubs 



62 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

went into the big series, they continued to play the one- 
run brand of base-ball. When a man reached first 
base, the sacrifice was invariably the play used, making 
it an easy matter for the opposition to break up the 
play, because they knew the style of attack. 

When the Athletics and the Cubs met, it was only 
natural for Chance and his men to expect the same 
style of play shown by former American League pen- 
nant winners. The Cubs were treated to a huge sur- 
prise. The sacrifice hit was rarely used by the Mack- 
ites. It was the " steal," or the " hit-and-run," all the 
time. No team could possibly have presented a more 
varied attack than that of the Athletics. They did just 
about everything the Cubs did not expect. Chance's 
machine was thrown out of gear, and before it could 
adjust itself, the Athletics had won four of the five 
games, and the series. In almost every game, the Ath- 
letics determined the result by having one big inning. 
Instead of playing for one run. Mack's men went after 
them in bunches, and were usually rewarded with at 
least one productive inning in each game. 

In 191 1, when the series between the Athletics and 
the " Giants " stood 3 to 2 in favor of the Athletics, 
Mack sprung his usual unexpected move, the result of 
which was a big factor in the series. An injury to 
Coombs had put him out of the running, and Plank 
had pitched and been beaten. Bender, with but one 
day of rest, was not expected at all as the pitcher in 
the sixth contest. The Athletics seemed on the verge 
of breaking, while the Giants seemed to have recovered 
after a bad start. A further point in the situation was 
that if the Giants could win the sixth game. McGraw 
would have Mathewson to work the seventh and decid- 
ing game at the Polo Grounds. Conditions looked 
very favorable to the Giants. 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 63 

However, in all this Connie Mack and Chief Bender 
had been left out of the reckoning. When the Athlet- 
ics took the field for the sixth game at the Polo 
Grounds, Chief Bender walked out to the box, despite 
the fact that no spectator had the slightest idea that he 
would pitch. He had been reported as in rather poor 
health, and it was commonly asserted that he was a 
pitcher who needed three days of rest at least to show 
his proper form. But here was Mack sending the In- 
dian back after a vacation of one day, to face the 
Giants in the test game of the series! Mack surely 
did the unexpected in sending Bender to the mound, 
and Bender did the unexpected in the style of pitching 
he served to the Giants. 

Mindful that Bender was reported in poor health, 
McGraw undoubtedly sent his men up with orders to 
" wait out " the Indian; to make him pitch to the limit, 
and thus increase the chance of his weakening before 
the end of the game. Bender must have realized this 
before the end of the first inning, because I noticed that 
he put the first ball for each man right over the heart 
of the plate. He had superb control, and, in nine times 
out of ten, the first ball pitched was a strike. Imme- 
diately he had the batter in a hole, for the first strike 
means a great deal. So instead of being at a disad- 
vantage to himself, and being forced to do an extra 
amount of work, he was constantly getting the advan- 
tage of the batsmen. 

During the first four innings, the New Yorkers 
"waited," — and failed to profit. In the fourth, the 
Athletics bunched a few hits and errors and scored four 
runs, making the score 5 to i against the Giants. Be- 
ing four runs behind naturally caused a shift in attack 
on the part of McGraw. What was then needed by 
the New Yorkers was a bunch of runs, and such a 



64 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

thing would be possible only by hitting. The order to 
" wait them out " w^as changed to " take a crack at the 
first good one." 

But Bender is too heady a pitcher not to know that 
McGraw would be forced to change his style of attack; 
and he also realized that it was up to him to change his 
style of pitching. He no longer put the first ball 
squarely over the plate. Instead, he tried to make the 
batter go after a bad one, if possible, and he was very 
successful. He kept the ball inside and outside, high 
and low, but just over the edge, and as a result the 
Giants were at his mercy. In the seventh inning, the 
Athletics piled up seven more runs, which cinched the 
game. \\'hat was expected to be the toughest game of 
the series developed into a rout for the Giants, who 
suffered one of the worst defeats in the history of the 
World's Series, the score being 13 to 2, and only four 
hits having been made off Bender. The famous Indian 
won, not because he had his usual amount of '* stuff," 
as the saying is, but because he had a lot of brains, and 
made use of his head throughout the game. 

Manager jMcGraw, of the Giants, who has had such 
wonderful success with teams often rated as several 
notches weaker than other clubs in the race, is also a 
great manager in the way of constantly making his 
team do the unexpected things. He is a great believer 
in taking chances, in doing things on the bases, in con- 
stantly " mixing them up." When the Giants win, it is 
frequently said that *' they simply stole the pennant by 
running wnld on the bases." The success of IMcGraw's 
style of play is best illustrated by the number of pen- 
nant winners he has turned out. 

A manager of the McGraw type is sure to get a lot 
of praise for his tactics, and draw an equal amount of 
criticism. In the series of 191 1, between the Giants 



OUTGUESSING THE OPPOSITION 65 

and Athletics, a bit of strategy on the part of McGraw 
was credited with being the turning-point in a game. 
Snodgrass was on second and one man was out, when a 
ball was hit to Collins. Snodgrass was off with the 
pitch, and reached third almost as soon as the ball got 
to Collins. The Athletics' second sacker fumbled the 
ball momentarily. McGraw, quick to take advantage 
of the slip on the part of the usually reliable Collins, 
motioned to Snodgrass to try for the plate. Collins 
recovered quickly and made a hurried throw to the 
plate, but Snodgrass beat the throw by a scanty margin. 
The Giants were the victors, 2 to i. McGraw's will- 
ingness to take a chance had won the game. 

In the 1912 series with the Boston "Red Sox," a 
similar play came up, with Fletcher taking the place of 
Snodgrass on the base line, and Steve Yerkes acting 
the role played by Eddie Collins. It seemed like a less 
hazardous chance than McGraw had taken the previous 
year, but Fletcher was retired when Yerkes made a 
wonderful throw to the plate which Cady, the Boston 
catcher, handled in masterly fashion. Most critics re- 
ferred to that as bad coaching, but if Fletcher had 
scored and the one run had decided the issue, McGraw 
would have been hailed as a hero. 

There are a lot of fair players in base-ball, and an 
equal number of really good men, but the bright stars 
are the exception. That is the reason that players of 
the Mathewson or Johnson or Cobb or Wagner or La- 
joie or Bender or Collins or Speaker type are able to 
command huge salaries. To be a success, you must be 
one of the few who are always doing the unexpected ; 
who are quick thinkers and have the brains and skill 
to grasp opportunities and get results. There is always 
a big demand for players of that class. 



VI 

PLAYING THE INFIELD 

THIRD base is regarded by many people as the 
hardest position in the infield to play. Pos- 
sibly this impression has been created by the 
fact that third base is always referred to as " the diffi- 
cult corner." Ball players as a rule do not look upon 
third base as the most difficult position in the infield. 

*' Hobe " Ferris, now out of the big league, began 
his career as a second baseman. At that position Fer- 
ris was regarded as one of the greatest fielders in the 
business. His work as a member of the infield of the 
Boston team in the American League was uniformly 
brilliant. Late in his career Ferris was sold to the 
St. Louis *' Browns," who boasted of a corking good 
second baseman in Jimmy Williams. Manager Mc- 
Aleer asked Ferris if he would n't try his hand at 
third base. For a time he positively refused. He 
finally consented to play a few games, but insisted he 
would never be the regular third baseman. After he 
had been playing the position a week, I asked him how 
he liked the job. 

" I can't imagine how I ever passed up third base 
when I was a kid," remarked Ferris. " Why, playing 
third is just like a vacation ! Never again will I play 
second." And he never did during the remainder of 
his big-league career. 

Not so many years ago first base was regarded as 

the cinch position in the infield. Any big fellow who 

66 



PLAYING THE INFIELD 67 

could catch a thrown ball with any degree of accuracy 
was usually nominated for the initial sack. It was 
the last resort for down-and-out catchers. But first 
base is no longer regarded as a soft spot. In fact, it 
is just as difficult nowadays to secure a capable man for 
that position as for any other place on the infield. 
First base has become a decidedly important cog in the 
workings of every well-regulated ball team. The first 
baseman has a lot more to do than merely to be able 
to catch thrown balls. He must be able to think 
quickly, must have a good arm, and must be able to 
figiire out in advance the many plays that start at 
first base. 

Most ball players regard either short-stop or second 
base as the hardest positions to fill. Many seem to 
think second base the hardest, while perhaps just as 
many insist that short-stop is a trifle the more difficult. 
I once asked Eddie Collins, conceded to be one of the 
greatest second basemen the game has ever known, 
which position he regarded as the hardest to play. 

" Second base keeps you pretty busy, but I rather 
think that short-stop is the most difficult position to 
play," was his reply. 

" Playing short-stop is no cinch, but I would rather 
look after short-stop than second base," is the way Jack 
Barry, famous short-stop of the " Athletics," summed 
up the situation when I asked him for his opinion. 

Team-work is one of the greatest essentials in base- 
ball. Put a brilliant second baseman on a team, and 
give him a mediocre short-stop, and he will not seem a 
very remarkable performer. A brilliant player at 
either position must hav^e an equally brilliant partner 
to bring out the best that is in him. Take all the great 
infields of the past, and each had a star player at short 
and second. Many of them boasted a star at every one 



68 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

of the four positions. Just now I recall such pairs, 
however, as Parent and Ferris of the old Boston Amer- 
icans, Tinker and Evers of Chicago, Barry and Collins 
of the " Athletics," Wagner and Ritchey of Pittsburgh, 
Maranville and Evers of the Boston Nationals. 

The part that a brilliant short-stop plays, in relation 
to an equally brilliant second baseman, was forcibly 
brought to my attention several years ago. Jack 
Barry had been badly spiked, — an injury that kept 
him out of the game for more than a month. It was 
necessary for Manager Mack to use one of his recruits. 
All winning teams make a lot of double plays ; and most 
of these are pivoted around second base. In a major- 
ity of them, either the short-stop or the second base- 
man plays the big part, and in a great many the two 
figure equally. The moment Barry was forced to leave 
the " Athletics " infield, Collins slowed up. But this 
change in the form which he displayed was not due to 
any slump on his part ; it was simply because he could 
not work smoothly with the recruit short-stop. It was 
impossible for Eddie to make the quick plays around 
second which he achieved with Barry, because the re- 
cruit short-stop was not equal to the occasion. In- 
stead of tossing the ball in the general direction of sec- 
ond, as is necessary in a lot of plays, knowing in ad- 
vance that Barry would be on the job to complete his 
end of the play, Collins was always forced to makfe 
the play directly to the recruit fielder, often having to 
hesitate, momentarily, before even starting the play in 
order to permit the youngster to get over to the base. 
Time and again such slight delays would prevent a 
double play by a scant margin. And the failure to 
complete such a play often gave the opposition a chance 
to start a rally that ended disastrously for the " Ath- 
letics," when the double play, had it been accomplished, 



PLAYING THE INFIELD 69 

would have retired the side. And there can be no 
doubt that the enforced absence of CoUins would have 
had a precisely similar effect on Barry. 

Second base is called the " pivot position of the in- 
field." This is because most of the plays center around 
second base. As reported, most of the double plays 
read : '' short to second to first " ; " third to second to 
first "; '' second to short to first " ; " first to second to 
first," and so on down the line. The records show, too, 
that teams strong on double plays are usually teams 
well up in the race. Generally speaking, ability to 
make double pla3^s speaks well for a team's defense. 
A good defense means few runs for the opposition, pro- 
vided the pitching is of the proper kind. Since second 
base is the pivot position, much of the team's success 
depends upon the way that post is played. If the short- 
stop and second baseman work smoothly, it usually has 
the effect of balancing the rest of the team. A club 
that is constantly mussing up plays around second base 
never causes much trouble for the opposition. 

To make a study of the opposing batters is of great 
assistance to infielders in the proper playing of their 
positions. It would be the height of folly for an in- 
field to assume exactly the same position for all bats- 
men. There is, for the sake of comparison, " Birdie " 
Cree, formerly of the New York Americans, and 
Johnny Mclnnis, of the Philadelphia " Athletics." 
These two players are right-handed batters, yet usually 
they hit in opposite directions. Cree was known as a 
right-field hitter, that is, the chances are that nine out 
of ten balls he hits will go to right field. Knowing 
this, the infield — and the outfield also — shifted when 
Cree came to the bat. The first baseman played close 
to the foul line, the second baseman moved considerably 
nearer first, the short-stop moved over toward second, 



70 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

and the third baseman toward short. All the outfield- 
ers shifted probably twenty or thirty feet toward right 
field. 

It becomes the duty of the pitcher also, in such cases, 
to lend his aid to carry out the revised plans of the field- 
ers. The pitcher then should be careful to keep the 
ball on the outside of the plate. Such a ball is almost 
certain to be hit into right. A ball on the inside of the 
plate might tend to upset all the previous plans of the 
infield and outfield. While Cree might not hit such a 
ball to left field, because he swings late, it is quite pos- 
sible, nevertheless, that the mistake in pitching might 
enable him to hit the ball in such a direction that the 
shift made would throw the infield sufficiently out of 
balance to prevent any member of it from interceptihg 
the ball. 

Mclnnis is a natural hitter. Despite the fact that 
he is regarded as a left-field batsman, and pitchers and 
infielders and outfielders play for him accordingly, he 
manages to hit above the three hundred mark. Mc- 
lnnis hits the ball hard. Many of his hits down the 
third base-line are so fast that no fielder in the world 
could handle them. Almost before the third baseman 
is able to make a start the ball shoots past him with the 
speed of an express-train. When Mclnnis steps to the 
plate, the infield shifts directly opposite to its change 
when Cree was the batter. All players move a consid- 
erable distance toward the left-field side of the dia- 
mond. It becomes the duty of the pitcher, with Mc- 
lnnis up, to keep the ball on the inside of the plate, for, 
generally speaking, such a ball is almost certain to be 
hit to the left side of the field. A ball pitched high 
and on the outside to Mclnnis, through mistake or lack 
of control on the part of the pitcher, would have a tend- 
ency to break up the plan of the defense against this 



ifV. 









^ 



^Pi 




^„ 




PLAYING THE INFIELD 73 

player. The fact that he hits the ball so hard is of 
great aid to him in breaking down the schemes used by 
opposing fielders and pitchers to lessen his batting aver- 
age. Mclnnis knows he is regarded as a left-field hit- 
ter, and despite the fact that he is regarded as one of 
the best hitters in the game, he is striving constantly to 
become able to hit in other directions. On several 
occasions, he has surprised rival players by hitting 
safely to right field. Such happenings, however, are 
usually regarded as accidents, few of his opponents giv- 
ing Mclnnis credit for constantly trying to hit the ball 
to some other field than the left side of the diamond. 

The question now arises as to how the infield should 
play when players known as " free hitters " are at the 
bat, — players who are just as liable to hit to right field 
as to left. There is no greater student of base-ball 
than Connie Mack. He figures out all possible plays 
from every angle. I once asked him his opinion on this 
subject, for a batter like Lajoie, Cobb, Wagner, or 
Speaker is liable to hit to any part of the field, and, 
quite often, regardless of the kind of ball that is 
pitched. 

*' It has been my experience," said Mr. Mack, " that 
more balls are hit to left field than right. And this 
makes me think that it is usually best for every infielder 
to incline toward the left side of the diamond. I like a 
first baseman to play pretty deep and fairly well over 
toward second. I favor the second baseman playing 
closer to second by a fair margin than first, and so on." 

Who should cover second base on throws ? That is 
a question that often puzzles the fan and the young 
player. As a rule, the short-stop or second baseman 
decides in advance of the pitch who is to cover on an 
attempted steal. If the batter happens to be a player 
more likely to hit to the right side of the diamond than 



74 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the left, the short-stop usually covers the base. If the 
batter is a fellow more likely to hit to the left side of 
the diamond, then the second baseman usually covers it. 
The pitcher, of course, must work in harmony with 
this play. Often the catcher decides to call for a waste 
ball, which, if pitched far enough outside, is a ball that 
the batsman really cannot hit, and it gives the catcher 
a clean throw. It is usually delivered with the slightest 
possible motion, so that it may be speeded to the catcher 
in the least possible time. 

When a runner reaches second base, the short-stop 
and second baseman can do much to slow him up, by 
constantly forcing him back to the bag. The moment 
a runner gets a pretty good lead, it is wise for either 
infielder to drive him back to second by running up to 
the bag to take a throw. The throw can come from 
either the catcher or pitcher. The catcher always has 
the play in front of him, and often, through some set 
signal, tells the pitcher when to whirl around and make 
the throw. The percentage of runners caught on such 
plays are very few, but often such a play gets the 
pitcher out of a bad hole, simply because the runner 
insists on taking too big a lead in his anxiety to score. 
Even if the runner is not caught, the play has another 
very good feature. Every time the runner is forced 
to return fifteen or twenty feet to a base, it robs him of 
a certain amount of his speed. If the play is so close 
that he is forced to slide, it slows up the runner still 
more. Often a couple of narrow escapes will cause 
him to cut down by four or five feet the big lead he was 
taking. 

There is also another decided advantage to the team 
in the field on this play. If the pitcher, after having 
driven the runner back without being forced to throw, 
makes a quick delivery to the batsman, the runner is 



PLAYING THE INFIELD 75 

thrown out of his stride. Driving the runner back 
naturally robs him of his chance to get a flying start. 
Often such a practice slows up the runner just enough 
to cause him, in trying to score from second on a single, 
to be thrown out at the plate, on a hit that ordinarily 
would have scored him with ease. Perhaps at times 
the second baseman and short-stop look foolish by 
making bluff after bluff. The practice often has its 
reward at the plate, though as a rule, credit is seldom 
given to the play around second, only a great throw by 
some fielder being taken into consideration. The one 
disadvantage of the play, for the team in the field, is 
when a wise batter happens to hit through a spot va- 
cated by either the short-stop or second baseman, while 
driving the runner back. 

Double plays are one of base-ball's prettiest features, 
especially when executed by master fielders. It was a 
delight to watch Tinker, Evers, and Chance make these 
plays on drives which looked like sure base-hits. On 
all possible double plays around second base, the short- 
stop and second baseman must work together. Some 
one should always be covering the bag to take the 
throw. Almost at the crack of the bat, the star in- 
fielders have a play in mind, and at once either the 
short-stop or second baseman takes the bag to complete 
the attempt at a double play. It is very foolish to try 
and get two men when such a thing is practically impos- 
sible. In such cases, it is policy to play it safe and get 
one. That is often an easy matter, if it is played care- 
fully ; while, if a hurried throw is made to get two men, 
as often the ball is thrown wild, and both runners are 
safe. 

Bobby Wallace, formerly of the St. Louis 
*' Browns," in his day was one of the greatest infielders 
who ever played base-ball. Although hovering around 



76 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the forty-year mark, Wallace was a star compared to 
some of the recruits who came up to the big league as 
so-called '* phenoms." Wallace played second, third, 
and short, and of all three postions he considered tliird 
the easiest, but preferred playing short-stop, probably 
because it was the position at which he first became a 
star. In discussing the position with me one day, Wal- 
lace remarked : 

" Too few short-stops keep in mind the fact that one 
of the greatest assets such a player must have is a 
strong throwing arm. Most short-stops are constantly 
throwing the ball around with the greatest possible 
speed. They throw out a batter at first who is re- 
garded as slow, with the same amount of speed as they 
retire a ' speed merchant ' who can make a hundred 
yards in about ten seconds. That is a big mistake, — 
an error that has put not only many a short-stop but 
many other players out of the running long before their 
time. I have always been rated as an infielder with a 
good arm. I honestly believe my arm to-day is just 
al>out as good as it ever was, and I 've been throwing 
runners out for many a year. If Cy Young hit a ball 
to me (and Cy was never a fast runner), I would prob- 
ably throw him out by a step at first. I saved my arm 
as much as possible. When Cobb, a very fast man, 
would hit a ball to me, I usually got him by about a 
step. I made the throw to suit the man. That is the 
wise thing to do, yet few infielders follow such a sys- 
tem." 

The work of the short-stop — in fact of every 
player — becomes more difficult when runners get on 
the bases. In many cases, the nmners will make false 
starts just in order to get an idea who is to cover the 
base. If the short-stop makes the break to cover on 
the bluff, then the batsman decides that he should try 



PLAYING THE INFIELD yj 

to drive the ball through the space vacated by the short- 
stop. Often it is possible to thwart the batter in this 
aim by shifting on the next pitch and allowing the 
second baseman to cover, unless the batter happens to 
be a dead right-field hitter. Perhaps a better way to 
thwart the batter is for the infielders to start slowly, 
not making a break to the bag until the ball is well on 
its way to the plate. 

When runners are on first and third base and a 
double steal seems the most probable play, the best 
policy is to have the short-stop cover second base for a 
throw, and have the second baseman cut in and take a 
short throw, provided the man on third makes a dash 
for the plate. On this play, there must be perfect uni- 
son between the short-stop and second baseman. The 
moment the play is started, the second baseman dashes 
in back of the pitcher, while the short-stop rushes over 
to second base. If the runner on third dashes for the 
plate, the second baseman cuts off the throw and at- 
tempts to get the runner at the plate. If the second 
baseman is pretty sure the runner on third does not 
intend to go, he still tries to create the impression that 
he is going to take the throw, in the hope that it may 
possibly influence the man coming from first to slow up 
a trifle. Then, as the ball nears him, he ducks down 
and lets it go on through, and the short-stop handles the 
ball, often in time to get the runner at second. Even if 
the runner going to second is not retired, the original 
purpose of the steal, nine times out of ten, is frustrated, 
namely — the hope that the runner on third may score. 
The short-stop and second baseman always should 
know what style of ball is being pitched to the batsman, 
which is usually learned by knowing and watching the 
signals of the catcher. 

Another great asset for the short-stop is to learn to 



78 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

throw underhand. Often he has to stop balls in such a 
position that to straighten up and throw would inevit- 
ably mean failure to catch a runner ; and, in such cases, 
the ability to throw underhand is of great value to him. 
The play of the first baseman and the third baseman 
is largely governed by conditions. When a bunt is the 
expected play, the third baseman must anticipate it and 
try, if possible, to force the runner who is being ad- 
vanced. If this be an impossibility, the next best thing 
to do is to get the batsman. With a man on second and 
no one out, a sacrifice is usually the best play. The first 
baseman, in such a case, should always try to make a 
play to get the runner at third if possible. On such 
plays, if it is impossible to get the runner at third, 
then make a play at first. When the first baseman goes 
in on a bunt, it becomes the duty of either the pitcher 
or second baseman to cover first, usually the second 
baseman. A good infielder must think quickly and be 
able to execute the plays as fast as he figures them out. 



VII 



SOME EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING/ OR 
MY LIFE-STORY 

By Walter Johnson 
of the Washington Base-Ball Club 

" Without any question, the greatest pitcher of all time." 

—"Eddie" Collins. 

After much difficulty, I have succeeded in getting Walter 
Johnson, the world's greatest pitcher, to collaborate with me 
in an article dealing with his truly remarkable career. 
Walter Johnson is perhaps the greatest figure in the base- 
ball world, and incidentally the most modest fellow in the 
game. The story of his life will interest not only all base- 
ball fans, but a host of readers who have no particular inter- 
est in the annual contests of the Major Leagues. In telling 
it, I have followed Johnson's story of his career to the letter. 
— " Billy " Evans. 

I HAVE been a Major League pitcher for eleven 
years. And now that I am rated by indulgent 
critics and fans as a fairly good pitcher — some 
going so far as to call me a star — it may surprise 
many lovers of the game to know that, at one time, I 
was considered a very, very ordinary twirler. In fact, 
it took me two years to get a chance to show such 
ability as I did possess. 

Twelve years ago, an obscure Minor League team 
released me with scarcely a trial. The manager told 
me that so far as pitching was concerned, I would 
make a better outfielder. The next year, I failed in 

79 



8o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

an attempt to induce a certain Minor League manager 
to let me have a unifonn and an opportunity to try my 
luck. 

Achieve a little success, and you at once discover a 
great number of people who claim the responsibility 
for it. Every year I read a dozen new stories about 
how I got my start in base-ball. If all of them were 
true. I would be the protege of at least a hundred dif- 
ferent base-ball enthusiasts. To tell the truth, I don't 
know who is most directly responsible for my getting 
a chance in the Big League. I never saw a Major 
League game until I joined the Washington club, and 
I was greatly surprised when I found that I was going 
there. 

In 1906, I induced the manager of the Tacoma club 
to allow me to don a unifoiTn. He let me wear it 
about a month, and then decided it would look better 
on some one else. That is another way of saying that 
I was released. A Tacoma friend of mine told me of 
a fast semi-professional club at Weiser, Idaho, and 
said he believed he could get me a job with that team. 
He did it, and I joined the club at once, finishing out 
the season with fair success. 

The following year, I decided that I would like to 
get employment in the Coast League, as I believed that 
I could make good in that company. I always liked 
Los Angeles, and consequently went there for a posi- 
tion. It happened that the club had a staff of excel- 
lent pitchers, and my appeal to the manager of the club 
received slight attention. I did my best to show him 
that he was making a mistake, but could n't make much 
of an impression. 

My bank balance was none too large, and after stay- 
ing at Los Angeles for a time without making any 
progress, I decided that as a ball-player I was doomed 




WALTER JOHNSON 

Johnson's greatest asset is his terrific speed. This picture 
shows the start of his dehvery, preparatory to pitching one 
of his fast balls 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 83 

to shine at Weiser. I knew there was a position open 
to me, and so I went back to that town. 

Although the managers of the Tacoma and Los 
Angeles teams did n't enthuse over me, I was received 
very warmly by the Weiser manager upon my return. 
There was no regular league, games were not played 
every day, and much of the pitching for the club fell 
to me. The batters of that section were not quite in 
the same class with the IMajor League players, and con- 
sequently I did not have very much trouble in winning 
my games. In a series of twelve games, I managed to 
strike out 166 men, and went eighty-five innings with- 
out being scored on. 

In those days I could pitch as swift a ball as I can 
now. J\Iany batters don't care for speed, especially 
if the pitcher is a trifle wild. My control was a bit 
unsteady then, and many of the players were delighted 
when the umpire called them out on strikes. Others 
would take three weak swings, for fear the umpire 
might not call them strikes. Incidentally, the eyes of 
the umpire were not as keen as those of the Major 
League officials. Both these conditions, of course, 
helped me to attain my record. 

Every now and then, after having watched me pitch 
a game, some stranger would tell me that he liked my 
pitching, that he was from the East, and that he in- 
tended writing to the manager of this or that club about 
me. In two or three months, I think a hundred stray 
spectators paid me that sort of compliment, and a good 
many of them told me I ought to be in the Big League. 
I regarded that possibility, however, as quite too far 
away to give it any serious consideration, and I never 
was very fond of riding on trains. 

It is quite possible, indeed, that if Cliff Blanken- 
ship, a Washington catcher at that time, had not suf- 



84 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

fered a broken linger, I might still be pitching in dear 
old \\'eiser. Washington, like several other clubs, had 
heard, it seems, of some of the things I had been doing 
in the pitching line. Very fortunately for me, that 
club was going badly at the time, and needed pitchers 
particularly. Coupled with the breaking of Blanken- 
ship's finger, this fact was responsible for my journey 
east to join the Big League. 

That trip from Weiser to Washington is a suffi- 
ciently long one. Never having made such a journey 
before, I was not at all clever in picking out my trains, 
and, as a result, I was delayed in arriving. At one 
stage of the proceedings, Manager Cantillon, then in 
charge of the W^ashington team, must have decided that 
I had made up my mind to stay in Weiser. At least, 
he sent enough telegrams to have paid almost my year's 
salary in Idaho. I was a very tired young man w^hen 
I finally reported to him at his hotel. He welcomed 
me heartily, made me feel quite at home, and told me 
to come out to the park in the morning. There I was 
given a better uniform than I had worn at either 
Tacoma or Los Angeles. I warmed up a little with 
" Gabby " Street, then a star catcher on the club. 
Later I did some pitching for batting practice. 

I made up my mind that morning that the ball w^as 
the same size as ever, and the bats no larger than those 
I had been accustomed to. I also reached the con- 
clusion that the Big League players were human beings, 
just like the young men out at W^eiser. In the after- 
noon, the manager told me that he intended starting me 
in a game as soon as I had lost my train legs. I re- 
plied that I w^as ready and anxious to " have a try at 
it." 

On Thursday evening, August i, 1907, Manager 
Cantillon informed me that he intended using me the 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 85 

next day against Detroit. At that time, the *' Tigers " 
were leading in the race, and were expected to win the 
pennant, so the Washington manager surely did not 
pick a soft job for me for my first attempt. How- 
ever, I was truly glad after the game was over that I 
had made my start against Detroit, as my showing in 
that game gave me a great deal of confidence. 

In those da3^s, the Detroit Tigers could hit the ball 
just about as effectively as could the Athletics a few 
years ago, and I lost that game, but not until after 
there had been quite a battle. At the end of the 
seventh inning, the score was a tie, i to i. In some 
way, I had managed to keep the Tigers from hitting. 
In the eighth, their manager, Jennings, shifted tactics 
with good results. The first batter bunted, and beat 
my throw easily. The next one also bunted. I tried 
for a force play at second, but my throw arrived a 
fraction of a second too late. Then came another 
bunt. I managed to get the man at first, but of course 
the other two men moved up. A fly to the outfield 
scored a run, and put the Tigers in the lead. I was 
taken out in the last half of the eighth to allow a pinch- 
hitter to bat. Tom Hughes pitched the last inning, 
and the Tigers got a rim off of his delivery. Washing- 
ton started a rally in the ninth, but could score only 
one run, and the game ended 3 to 2 in favor of Detroit. 
I had started my Big League career with a defeat, but 
still I was satisfied. 

In the eight innings I had pitched against the League 
leaders, I had held them to two runs and six hits, three 
of them being bunts that were too nearly perfect for 
me to handle — in time to get the runner. I had suc- 
ceeded in doing this only because of my so-called 
" speed," for at that time I did n't have a curve ball, 
and scarcely knew there was such a thing. That eve- 



86 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SrORTS 

ning, one of the Washington newspapermen com- 
mented on this fact while talking to me. 

** I believe you will have better success if you will 
mix up a curve with your speed," said he. 

" That is just what I intend doing when I learn how 
to use a curve," I replied. My speed had enabled me 
to win with ease out at Weiser. Fast-breaking curves, 
fade-aways, slow balls, and a change of pace were un- 
known to me. That same evening I told '* Gabby " 
Street what the newspaperman had said. 

*' Your speed will carry you along, and the rest will 
come to you in plenty of time, if you keep your wits 
about you," said Street. 

His judgment settled the matter for me, so I said 
nothing more about it then. ( Later, under the instruc- 
tion of several of the veteran Washington pitchers, I 
began to learn the art of pitching.) On August 7, 
live days after my debut, INIanager Cantillon sent me 
against Cleveland, and I recorded a victory over that 
team by the score of 7 to 2, allowing four hits and 
striking out six men. I had won my first victory. 

On August 14, I got another chance, this time 
against the St. Louis " Browns." In this game, as 
well as the other two, I used nothing but a fast ball. 
I lost, I to o, although I allowed only six hits, while 
Washington got nine off of Barney Pelty. I was won- 
dering what Manager Cantillon thought of me when I 
met him in the lobby of the hotel. 

" That was a hard game to lose, Walter," he re- 
marked. " You deserved to win, but that is impossible 
if your team-mates can't get you any runs. From now 
on, vou can expect to take your regular turn in the 
box." 

For the first time, I realized that I was a "sure- 
enough Big Leaguer." I confess I felt proud. 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 87 

People often ask me which team gives me the most 
trouble, and wiliich batters I find most dangerous. I 
have discovered that in these modern days of base-ball, 
no team can be regarded as a " cinch." Any club is 
liable to knock you out of the box, even though you 
appear to be in the best possible farm. 

One year the St. Louis Browns gave me considerable 
trouble, although other members of our pitching staff 
beat the same team with ease. For some time in 191 3, 
the Cleveland club seemed to have my measure. In 
a game in Cleveland, one day, they hit my offerings to 
all corners of the lot. It was quite dark — a day that 
was made to order for my style of pitching. I don't 
believe I ever had more speed, and my curve had a fast 
break, but I seemed unable to get the ball past the 
opposing bats. Even the pitcher was hitting them 
with ease. After the damage had been done, I let up 
on my speed and used some slow balls, and managed to 
finish the game without having any of my infielders 
seriously injured or the outfielders collapse from ex- 
haustion. 

However, if I were to pick the team that has con- 
sistently made me the most trouble since breaking into 
the Major League, I would say the Philadelphia 
Athletics. Connie Alack always manages to get to- 
gether a club that plays real base-ball, has plenty of 
speed, a good pitching staff, and enough batting 
strength to make any pitcher sit up and take notice. 
Such a combination has always proved a hard one for 
me to beat. 

Sam Crawford has perhaps hit me harder than any 
other batsman in the American League. The very 
first day he faced me he hit safely, and he has been 
doing it ever since. Frank Baker, who is so well re- 
membered by Christy Mathewson and " Rube " Mar- 



88 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

quard, has also been very successful at connecting with 
my offerings. Both of these men seem to get hits off 
of my delivery at almost any time they need them, 
and they have hit my fast ball so hard that for a time 
I would lose sight of the ball. 

I find that *' Donie " Bush, the diminutive short-stop 
of the Detroit team, is the hardest man for me to 
pitch to. He is small of stature, has a peculiar crouch 
at the plate, and a keen eye, and makes the pitcher go 
the limit. " Donie " can also clout the ball when it is 
over the plate. In fact, he is a dangerous player for 
a pitcher from almost any angle. 

I attribute much of my success as a pitcher to the 
excellent handling I received as a recruit. The vet- 
eran Jack Warner and Charley Street were the main- 
stays of the Washington club behind the bat when I 
joined that team. Both were heady catchers, good 
judges of batters, and excellent throwers. It was in- 
deed fortunate for me that I was started so soon after 
I joined the team, and had two such good back-stops 
to coach me. 

My experience has led me to believe that a young 
pitcher can learn more about the art of pitching from 
real work in a regular game than by absorbing knowl- 
edge by sitting on the bench. Of course both are es- 
sential, but the trial under fire is what makes or breaks 
a man. Ver}' often a team cannot afford to use a 
youngster, l^ecause of the possibility that most of the 
games he starts will l>e lost. When I joined the Wash- 
ington club, it did not have to worry about that. The 
team was usually regarded as defeated before the game 
began, so it did n't matter much who did the pitching. 
That state of affairs enabled me to be given a place 
as a regular, very quickly. 

Old catchers can coach you on what you should do. 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 89 

veteran pitchers can point out the different tricks of 
the trade to you, wise managers can give you a lot of 
valuable advice; but pitching in a real game, with a 
smart catcher handling your delivery, is what brings 
out the best that is in you. Jack Warner and 
" Gabby " Street soon put me wise to most of the 
tricks of the trade. I followed their instructions and 
judgment explicitly, and so got the best results. 
^ When ''' Gabby " Street was in his prime, he was the 
best catcher I ever saw, I think. Perhaps old-timers 
can recall back-stops who surpassed him, but to me 
he was the ideal man behind the bat. Most catchers 
will tell you that when I have good control, I am an 
easy man to catch. On the other hand, they will tell 
you that if I am wild, my pitching is hard to hold. 
They claim that because of my unusual speed it is im- 
possible to do much foot work in the box — that they 
cannot shift as they do for the average pitcher, and, 
in consequence, they are forced to catch bad pitches 
from awkward positions, with the result that wild 
pitches on my part, and passed balls on the catcher's, 
are numerous when I lack good control. 

Perhaps what they say is true, but when Street was 
catching, I made very few wild pitches. Although 
slow^ of foot as a runner, he could shift around in the 
catcher's box with remarkable speed. He was also a 
wonder at holding foul tips. When he was catching 
me, the receiving job appeared to be the easiest prop- 
osition in the world. I have often heard him say, 
" The only thing I need to make me really comfortable 
when Walter is pitching is a rocking-chair." He al- 
ways kept the pitcher in good spirits, and kept up, also, 
a continual chatter of sense and nonsense. 

" Ease up on this fellow, Walter; he has a wife and 
two children," he would call jokingly when some bat- 



90 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

ter was hugging the plate and getting a " toe-hold " 
for a crack at one of my fast ones. 

" This fellow has n't made a hit off of you since you 
joined the League," would probably be his next re- 
mark. And so on throughout the game. 

During my eleven years as a pitcher in the American 
League, I have lost a number of games that caused me 
considerable grief. In the summer of 19 13, I dropped 
two games to Boston that I was exceedingly sorry to 
lose. Ray Collins did the pitching for them in both 
the games, and he deserved to win, for he kept our 
team from scoring a run, and when a fellow pitches 
shut-out ball, the very worst that he can get is a tie. 
Both of these games were lost by i to o scores. 

The first defeat took place on Decoration Day, at 
Washington. There was a big crowd, and as game 
time approached, it seemed certain that rain would 
stop the contest, so it was decided to start the game 
about ten minutes earlier than usual, in the hope that 
five innings might be played before the storm broke. 
This decision was reached just about the time I was 
preparing to warm up. It cut down the time allotted 
me for my work-out, so that I was not quite ready 
when I started the first inning. Harry Hooper, the 
first man to face me, hit the first ball pitched to him 
over the right field fence. Several more hits were 
made in that inning, but because of good fielding, Bos- 
ton did not score more than the one run. However, 
that tally was enough to win, as neither club was able 
to do any run-making during the remainder of the 
game. 

The other game was played on August 28, at Bos- 
ton. The fact that I had just won sixteen straight 
games made it an unusual attraction. I doubt if I 
ever pitched a better game in my life. In ten innings, 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 91 

only one Boston player reached first base, and he got 
there on a scratch hit. In the eleventh inning, a hit, 
an error, and another hit gave Boston the winning, run. 
I certainly hated to lose that game, not so much be- 
cause of that one defeat, but because I believed that 
if I could get away with the Boston contest, I would 
be able to break the Major League pitching record 
of nineteen straight victories. Once again Mr. Collins 
had put a crimp in my aspirations. 

I was credited with a loss at Detroit seven or eight 
years ago that was just about the last word in hard 
luck. Washington had tied the score in the first half 
of the ninth. Manager Cantillon had made a number 
of shifts, in trying to hold the Tigers down, and after 
he had succeeded in tying the score, he sent me out to 
finish the last half of the ninth. Dave Altizer was 
sent to short to replace another player, and requested 
to be allowed a few practice throws. The first-base 
pavilion on the old Detroit grounds was very close 
to the field. Dave took three trial throws, and threw 
the ball into the pavilion each time. Fearing that he 
might break up the game by throwing away all the 
balls, the umpire called a halt. 

The first batter to face me hit the first ball pitched 
to the outfield, and was out. The next man, Herman 
Schaefer, sent an easy grounder to Altizer, who picked 
it up in nice style, and then proceeded to make a higher 
throw into the stands than he had on any of his three 
trial attempts. It w^as before the rules allowed only 
two bases on such an error, and Schaefer trotted 
around the bases for the winning run. 

" Well, Dave, you threw true to form,** remarked 
Manager Cantillon, as Altizer returned to the bench. 
I had pitched just tw^o balls, but because of Altizer*s 
bad throw, I was credited with the loss of the game. 



92 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

That defeat was one of the few that have been un- 
justly — to my way of thinking — charged up to me. 
At any rate, 1 shall never forget that last inning. 

It is my opinion that a pitcher, to be at his best, 
should be worked in his regular turn. I consider three 
days of rest just right for a pitcher who is big and 
strong; that is, I think such a pitcher can be of the 
greatest service to his club by being used every fourth 
day. Pitchers of a slighter physique could not work 
that often. A pitcher knows best what amount of rest 
he needs, in order to be right, and if he is wise he will 
see that his manager knows this also. No manager 
can be a mind-reader, although some of them are more 
than wise. If I was worked only once a week, I don't 
believe I would ever pitch a good game of ball. A 
rest of that length throws me off my stride. 

Going to the rescue of another pitcher, if it is done 
frequently, is far harder on the average pitcher than 
taking his regular turn in the box. Often a pitcher 
falters several times during a game. Believing that he 
may be sent in to pitch at a moment's notice, the relief 
pitcher warms up hurriedly. Just about the time he 
may be ready, the other pitcher settles down and gets 
out of the hole. The manager then signals for the 
relief pitcher to discontinue warming up, whereupon 
he pulls on his sweater, sits down on the bench, and 
begins to cool off. Perhaps just about the time he 
gets cool, he is forced to go through the same program 
again. Sometimes this happens for several days in 
succession. 

I much prefer to start games and let the other fel- 
lows finish them, no matter whether it is because my 
team is far ahead or behind. I know positively that 
pitching at top speed for several innings in which I 
am sent in to save a game is a greater strain on my arm 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 93 

than working nine full innings in which I am forced to 
the limit. Usually when a pitcher goes to the rescue 
of another man, his team has a slight margin in runs. 
Of course it is up to him to retain this scant lead. To 
do so he must extend himself all the time, as the slight- 
est let-up might mean defeat. Pitchers who are con- 
stantly going in to finish games will soon have trouble 
with their arms, and, in my opinion, cannot hope to last 
half as long as the fellow who works in his regular 
turn. And the hardest part of relief duty is being 
forced to go in at a moment's notice, without being 
properly warmed up. It is on such occasions that a 
fellow permanently injures his arm. 

Probably no greater relief pitcher than Ed Walsh 
of the Chicago club ever lived. A few years ago, 
Walsh's arm was found to be in bad shape, and as a 
result he was of little use to the Chicago team. Some 
people may attribute the injury to the spit ball, but I 
believe that excessive demands upon him as a relief 
pitcher is what caused Walsh's slump. One year he 
took part in about half the games Chicago played, and 
during the rest of the time was warming up, to be 
ready to go to the rescue if needed. No pitcher, no 
matter how strong he is physically, can do such a great 
amount of work without paying the penalty. 

Many people ask me my opinion of Ty Cobb. In 
answer to this query I might say that one of the great- 
est compliments I ever received was paid me by a gen- 
tleman who said that I was as good a pitcher as Cobb 
was an outfielder and batter. If I am half as good at 
pitching as Cobb is at fielding, batting, and base-run- 
ning, I don't think that I shall have to worry about my 
release for a few years at least. Cobb is surely a won- 
derful ball-player, and he hits my pitching, no matter 
what I serve up. 



94 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

However, I don't think he puts the force back of his 
drives that Baker and Crawford do. But Cobb makes 
me think more than the other two fellows do, for I 
never know exactly what he is going to do. When 
Crawford or Baker faces me, I look for him simply to 
wallop the ball. Crawford every now and then fools 
me by bunting one, but Baker invariably takes his 
healthy swing, and, as the slang of base-ball puts it, 
** believe me, it is some swing! " 

On the other hand, Cobb bunts when you least ex- 
pect it, and hits when you look for a bunt. If you put 
the ball on the outside where he likes it, he will drop 
it into left field. Keep it inside, and he is liable to kill 
your first baseman. About the best way to fool him 
is to get the ball up there faster than he can get his 
bat around. I should like to pitch on a team with eight 
men each as capable in his position as Ty is in his. If 
I ever lost a game, I would refuse to accept my salary 
for the season. 

The wise pitcher is the fellow who develops a good 
curve and an equally good slow ball. Jimmy Mc- 
Aleer, who managed the Washington club for several 
years, firmly impressed this on me during his regime. 
On a trip west one year, a discussion of former star 
pitchers was being indulged in by a number of the 
veterans on the club, among whom w'ere " Wid " Con- 
roy and " Kid " Elberfeld. I was an interested lis- 
tener. 

" It is n't often that a pitcher quits the game when 
he is plenty good enough to last for years in fast com- 
pany, but I had one who did," said McAleer. " He 
had as much speed as Walter Johnson, and a peculiar 
wind-up that made the batter think he was picking the 
ball out of his hip pocket every time he pitched. How- 
ever, he had nothing but speed. His curve was more 



EXPERIENCES OF A SPEED-KING 95 

of a twist than a curve, and a slow ball was something 
he could n't master, although he tried his best to learn 
it. So he had nothing to offer the batter but speed, 
and he was always extending himself to the limit. 
When the opposition solved his delivery, he had no 
change of pace." 

That part of McAleer's conversation made me decide 
that I must know something more about pitching than 
how to use speed. I spent much of my time in develop- 
ing a fast-breaking curve, mastering a slow ball, and 
acquiring a change of pace, which is the art of throw- 
ing a slow ball with exactly the same motion as is used 
in throwing the fast one. Players are kind enough to 
tell me that my curve and change of pace are far 
above the average. I hope they are right, for I am 
able to win now with much more ease than I did six or 
seven years ago. I never go at top speed except when 
it comes to the pinch. Then I always have something 
in reserve. 

I have never had much faith in new curves and so- 
called '' mystery balls." I am content to get along 
with the old-fashioned speed and curves. The knuckle 
ball is hard to hit, but equally hard to control, and, 
incidentally, it injures the arm. The spit ball is a 
deceptive delivery, but a dangerous one, as few pitch- 
ers know just where the ball is going. Ed Walsh was 
one of the few pitchers who seemed able to put the 
*' spitter " just about where he wanted it. It is con- 
ceded that this delivery is really effective only when 
it is broken low. Walsh always kept it the height of 
the knee. That it is a decidedly injurious delivery is 
shown by the way twirlers who have depended en- 
tirely on it have dropped out of the Big Leagues, while 
the old-style pitchers keep their places in fast com- 
pany. 



96 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

In eleven years I have learned a lot about pitching, 
and about base-ball in general, yet I still regard as 
my greatest asset the one I had when I entered the 
Big League — speed. Speed is a gift of nature. The 
other points about pitching can be acquired. 



VIII 

HOW I BECAME A '' BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER 

By Christy Mathewson 

FEW of the boys who read this will become 
Big-League pitchers. The majority of them 
probably have no such ambition. But nearly 
all boys play ball, and almost all boy players wish, at 
some time, to be pitchers. 

The first necessity for a pitcher is to have control 
of the ball. That can't be emphasized too strongly. 
A boy may be able to throw all the curves imaginable, 
but if he can't put the ball where he wants it, the bat- 
ters keep walking around the bases, and he will never 
win any ball games. Therefore, I would, first of all, 
advise my young readers to practise accuracy, until 
they can place the ball just where they want to send 
it. Let them pitch to another boy, with a barn or a 
fence as a back-stop, and try to put one high, over the 
inside of the plate, the next low over the inside, and 
then high over the otitside, and again low over the 
outside; and keep up this practice patiently until mas- 
tery of the control of the ball is obtained. A boy will 
find that even if he can't pitch a curve, but has good 
control, he will be able to win many more ball games 
than if he has a lot of benders, but no ability to put 
the ball where he wants it. 

There used to be a pitcher in the American League 
named '' Al " Orth, who was called the '' Curveless 
Wonder," because, it was said, he couldn't throw a 

97 



98 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

curve ball. But he had almost perfect control, and 
was able to pitch the ball exactly where he thought it 
would be hardest for the batter to hit it. The result 
was that, for several years, he was one of the best pitch- 
ers in the American League, with nothing but his con- 
trol to fall back upon. But he studied the weaknesses 
of batters carefully — that is, he was constantly on the 
alert to discover what sort of a ball each batter could n't 
hit — and then he pitched in this '' groove," as it is 
called in base-ball. 

When I was a boy about eight or nine years old, I 
lived in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, a little country 
town; and I had a cousin, older than I, who was al- 
ways studying the theory of throwing. I used to 
throw flat stones with him, and he would show me (I 
suppose almost every boy knows) that if a flat stone is 
started with the flat surface parallel to the ground, it 
will always turn over before it lands. That is, after 
it loses its speed, and the air-cushion fails to support 
it, the stone will turn over and drop down. The 
harder it is thrown, the longer the air sustains it, and 
the farther it will carry before it drops. 

My cousin showed me, also, that, if the hand were 
turned over, and the flat stone started with the flat 
surface at an acute angle to the earth, instead of 
parallel to it, the stone, instead of dropping, would 
curve horizontally. I began to practise this throw, 
and to make all sorts of experiments with stones. 

I got to be a great stone thrower, and this practice 
increased my throwing power, and taught me some- 
thing about curves. When I was nine years old, I 
could throw a stone farther than any of the boys who 
were my chums. Then I used to go out in the woods 
and throw at squirrels and blackbirds, and even spar- 
rows; and many a bagful of game I got with stones. 




CHRISTY MATHEWS ON 

Familiady known as " Matty," the greatest tactician as a pitcher the game 
has ever known 



A " BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER loi 

But, when aiming at game, I always used round stones, 
as these can be thrown more accurately. 

All this time I was practising with stones, mainly 
for amusement; I had n't played any base-ball, except 
" one old cat," with boys of my own age. As a mat- 
ter of fact, I did n't think much about base-ball. 
Gradually, however, I became interested in it, and be- 
fore long, I was allowed to stand behind the catcher 
when the Factoryville team was playing, and " shag " 
foul balls, or carry the bats or the water. For I was 
born with the base-ball instinct, and a " mascot," or 
bat-boy, is the role in which many a ball-player has 
made his start. 

This Factoryville nine was composed of grown men, 
and it was not uncommon for small town teams to 
wear whiskers in those days. Many of the players, 
too, were really fat men. But, boy-like, I felt very 
important in being " connected with " this pretentious- 
looking club. My official name was " second catcher," 
which entitled me to no place in the batting order, but 
gave me a chance at all foul balls and other misplaced 
hits that none of the regular nine could reach. If I 
happened to catch a wild foul ball, I would often hear 
the spectators say, " That 's a pretty good kid. He '11 
make a ball-player some day." But if I missed one, 
then it would be : " That kid 's pretty bad. He '11 
never be a ball-player ! " 

So, at the age of ten, I became a known factor in the 
base-ball circles of Factoryville, and might be said to 
have started on my career. 

My next step was learning to throw a curve with 
a base-ball, and one of the pitchers on the town team 
undertook to show me how this was done. He taught 
me to hold the ball for an out-curve, and then to snap 
my wrist to attain the desired result. After consider- 



102 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

able practice, I managed to curve the ball, but I never 
knew where it was going. I used to get another 
youngster, a little younger than I, up against a barn, 
with a big glove, and pitch to him for hours. At last, 
I attained fair control over this curve, and then I be- 
gan practising what is known in the Big Leagues as 
'* the fast ball," but what most boys call an " in- 
curve." 

Every boy knows that, if he grips a ball tightly and 
then throws it, with all his speed, off the ends of his 
fingers, the ball will curve in toward a right-handed 
batter slightly. This curve is easy to accomplish, as 
it is merely a matter of speed and letting the ball slide 
straight off the ends of the fingers, — the most natural 
way to throw. It does not require any snap of the 
wTist, but the bend of the curve is naturally slight, 
and that is the reason most Big Leaguers call it a fast 
ball, and do not recognize it as a curve. At the age of 
twelve, having no designs on the Big League, I called 
it the *' in-curve," and reckoned, with some pride, that 
I could throw two curves — the " out " and the " in." 

I first began playing ball on a team when I was 
twelve, but most of the other boys were older than I, 
and, as pitcher was considered to be the most impor- 
tant position, one of the older boys always took the job 
without even giving me a tryout. In fact, they thought 
that I was altogether too good a pitcher for my age, 
because I had considerable speed, and it was natural 
that several of the older boys did n't want to see the 
" kid " get along too fast. So they put me in right 
field, on the theory that " anybody can play right 
field." 

I was n't much of a ball-player, outside of being a 
pitcher, and it must be confessed that I never showed 
up brilliantly with that boy team. I could catch flies 



A " BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER 103 

only fairly well, could throw hard and straight, and 
was pretty good at chasing the balls that got away 
from me ; but I was n't a good hitter, and probably for 
just one reason. 

I was what is known as a " cross-handed " batter, — 
and the experts will all tell you that this is a cardinal 
sin in a batsman. It means that I stood up to the 
plate as a right-handed batter does, but put my left 
hand on top of my right, which greatly reduces the 
chances of hitting the ball when a man swings at it. 
All boys should be careful to avoid this cross-handed 
method of holding the bat. It is a great weakness. 
No one that I played with knew enough to tell me 
to turn around and bat left-handed, or that I was 
probably, by nature, a left-handed hitter. I would 
advise any boys who have this fault to try hitting left- 
handed, and if this does not prove successful, to prac- 
tise keeping the right hand on top until they are able 
to swing that way. No one will ever be a good ball- 
player who hits in the clumsy, cross-handed style. 

I believe I got the habit from hoeing, and chopping 
wood, and performing some of the other chores that 
a country boy is called upon to do. At all events, it 
" came natural," as the saying is, for me to hold my 
left hand on top of my right when doing any work of 
that kind. The result was, that I batted as if I were 
hoeing potatoes, and seldom obtained a hit. Once 
in a while, I would connect with the ball, in my awk- 
ward, cross-handed style, and it would always be a 
long wallop, because I was a big, husky, country boy; 
but more often I ignominiously struck out. So it will 
be seen that my real base-ball start was not very 
auspicious. 

But, even then, I would rather play base-ball than 
eat, and that is the spirit all boys need who expect to 



104 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

be good players. When I was fourteen years old, the 
pitcher on the Factoryville team was taken ill one 
day, just before a game with a nine from a town a 
few miles away, and the contest was regarded as very 
important in both villages. Our second pitcher was 
away on a visit, and so Factoryville was " up against 
it " for a twirler. You must remember that all the 
players on this team were grown men — several of 
them, as I have said, with whiskers on their faces, and 
roly-poly bodies — but I had always looked up to them 
as idols. When the team could find no pitcher, some 
one remarked to the captain : *' That Mathewson kid 
can pitch pretty well." But the backers of the team 
and the other players were skeptical, and, like men who 
come from Missouri, ** wanted to be shown." So they 
told me to come down on the main street in Factory- 
ville the next morning, which was Saturday, the day 
of the game — and take a " tryout." The captain was 
there. 

" We want to see what you Ve got," said he. 

Most of the base-ball population of the town gath- 
ered to see me get my tryout, and I pitched for two 
hours, while the critics stood around and watched me 
closely, to discover what I could do. They sent their 
best batters up to face the curves I was throwing, and 
I was '' putting everything that I had on the ball." 
After a full hour's dress rehearsal, and when, at last 
I " fanned " out the captain of the team, he came up, 
slapped me on the back, and said : 

** You '11 do. We want you to pitch this after- 
noon." 

That, I am sure, was the very proudest day of my 
life. We had to drive ten miles to the opponents' 
town, and all the other boys watched me leave with the 
men. And you can imagine my pride while / watched 



A " BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER 105 

them, as they stood on one foot and then the other, 
nudging one another and saying, " ' Husk ' is going to 
play with the men!" They called me "Husk" in 
those days. 

It was a big jump upward for me, and I would 
hardly look at the other youngsters as I climbed into 
the carriage with the captain. If the full truth were 
told, however, I felt almost " all in " after the hard 
session I had been through in the morning. 

I can remember the score of that game yet, prob- 
ably because it was such an important event in my 
life. Our team gained the victory by the count of 
19 to 17 — and largely by a bit of good luck that 
befell me. With my hands awkwardly crossed on 
the bat, as usual, I just happened to swing where the 
ball was coming once, when the bases were full, and I 
knocked it over the left-fielder's head. That luck hit 
won the game; and that was really my start in base- 
ball. 

This happened toward the end of the summer sea- 
son; and in the fall I went to the Keystone Academy, 
after having completed the public-school course, there 
being no high school in Factoryville at that time. 

I played on the Keystone team during my first year 
at the academy, but I was still young, and they 
thought that it was up to some older boy to pitch, so 
I covered second base. I was playing ball with boys 
sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen years old at this time, 
and I was only fourteen. 

The next year, however, I was captain of the team, 
and pitched (the natural result of being elected cap- 
tain, as any of my readers know who may have led 
base-ball clubs!). While I was the captain of this 
team, I hit upon a brilliant idea, which really was n't 
original, but which the other boys believed to be, and 



io6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

so it amounted to the same thing. When we were 
playing a weak team, I put some one else into the 
box to pitch, and covered second base myself, to 
** strengthen the in-field." We had a couple of boys 
on the team who — like certain twirlers in every 
league — could pitch, but couldn't bat or play any 
other position. I caught this idea from reading an 
article in a newspaper about McGraw and the Balti- 
more '' Orioles." I worshiped him in those days, little 
thinking that I should ever know him; and it was be- 
yond my fondest dreams that I should ever play ball 
for him. 

I was still batting cross-handed on the Keystone 
team; but, in pitching, I had good control over my 
out-curve, Avhich was effective against the other boys. 
During the vacation of that summer, I pitched for 
the Factoryville team, until it disbanded in August, 
which left me no place to play ball. And, remember, 
at that time I still would rather play ball than eat, and, 
big, growing boy that I was, I was decidedly fond of 
eating! 

But one fine day, the captain of a team belonging 
to a town about five miles away came to me and asked 
if I would pitch for his nine. 

''We'll give you a dollar a game!" he said in 
conclusion. 

" What! How much? " I asked, in amazement, be- 
cause it was such fun for me to play ball, then, that 
the idea of being paid for it struck me as " finding 
money." 

" A dollar a game," he repeated ; " but you '11 have 
to walk over, or catch a ride on some wagon." 

There was no trolley route connecting the two vil- 
lages then. I told him he need n't mind how I got 
there, but that I would certainly come. 



A " BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER 107 

So, for a time, I went regularly over to the other 
town — Factoryville's old rival — and pitched every 
Saturday; and often I had to walk both ways. But 
they always gave me my dollar, which was a satis- 
factory consolation and a good antidote for foot-weari- 
ness. By this time, I was far ahead of boys of my 
own age, in pitching, and was '' showing them how to 
pitch," and rather regarding them as my inferiors, as 
any boy will, after he has played with men. 

In 1898, I was graduated from Keystone Academy, 
and as I had played foot-ball there, and was a big, 
husky, country kid, I was regarded as a desirable stu- 
dent by several colleges, and urged by friends at the 
University of Pennsylvania and by others at Lafa3^ette 
College to enter one of those institutions of learning. 
But I finally decided to go to Bucknell. 

During that summer, I happened to be in Scranton, 
Pennsylvania, soon after school closed. It looked a 
big city to me then, and the buildings seemed to be 
very high. As I was only there for the day, I made 
up my mind that I would make sure of seeing the 
Y. M. C. A. team play ball, which it did every Satur- 
day. At the hour appointed for the game, I was sit- 
ting in the grand stand munching peanuts, when it was 
suddenly discovered that the Y. M. C. A. pitcher was 
missing, and they began to look around for some one 
to twirl. 

One of their players, it seems, had seen me pitch in 
Factoryville, and, having recognized me in the stand, 
he went up to the captain of the team, and said: 
** There 's a kid up there who can pitch." 

" Where 's he from? " asked the captain. 

" Factoryville," replied my friend. 

" I don't think he '11 do," said the captain. " Those 
small-town pitchers don't make good when they stack 



io8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

up against real ball teams. But I '11 remember him, 
and I may have to try him if the regular pitcher 
doesn't show up." 

The regular pitcher did n't " show up," and the re- 
sult was that the two players came over to me, some 
ten minutes later, where I was still munching peanuts 
in eager anticipation of the game, and began a conver- 
sation in this wise : 

*' Can you pitch? " the captain asked me. 

" A little," I replied. 

" Want to work for us this afternoon ? " 

I was startled. Then, '* Sure I do!" I exclaimed, 
and promptly climbed down over the front of the stand, 
leaving quite three cents' worth of peanuts on the seat, 
which was no compliment to my natural country thrift, 
and indicated that I was excited. They handed me a 
uniform, very much too big for me, the one that the 
regular pitcher usually wore, and as I was putting it on 
in the dressing-room, I began to wonder if the job 
would be as much too large. Wlien I came out and 
the crowd got a look at me, everybody l>egan to ask 
who the big country boy was, with the misfit uni- 
form. 

But I " had something " that day, and struck out 
fifteen men. 

"You're a pitcher!" said the captain to me after 
the game, and he ordered a uniform made to fit me. 
I was seventeen at that time, and was still playing with 
teams whose members were all much older than I. 
And that was the second opportunity to pitch that 
came to me through a " break in the luck," as ball- 
players say. 

At midsummer of that year, I went to Honesdale, 
Pennsylvania, where I was given twenty dollars a 
month and my board, to pitch for the team there. 



A " BIG-LEAGUE " PITCHER 109 

This seemed to me then a princely salary, and I be- 
gan to speak of '' J. P. Morgan and me." 

In 1898, I matriculated at Bucknell, and played foot- 
ball there. It was then a college of less than two hun- 
dred male students, but the class of men was gener- 
ally high. The next summer I went back to Hones- 
dale, after having played on the Bucknell base-ball 
team. And, in the middle of the season, I was of- 
fered ninety dollars a month to pitch in the New 
England League, a salary which turned out to be, 
only on paper, for the Taunton club disbanded before 
I was ever paid, and I received only an occasional five 
or ten dollars, which promptly went to the landlady. 

Honesdale proved to be an important mile-post in 
my base-ball journey. Two things I learned during 
my stay there, and both have been of great value to 
me. First, and most momentous, I discovered the 
rudiments of " the fadeaway " ; and, second, I stopped 
batting cross-handed. This correction of my hitting 
style was the result of ridicule. I was very large by 
this time — almost as big as I am now — and when 
I came up to the bat, with the wrong hand on top, and 
swung at the ball, I looked awkward. The players on 
the other teams and the spectators began to laugh at 
me and '' guy " me. " Look at that big kid trying to 
hit the ball ! " they would shout as I missed one. 

I made up my mind to change my style, and I 
started to try to hit with the right hand on top, stand- 
ing up to the plate right-handed. It was very hard for 
me at first, and for a long time I could n't hit nearly 
as well that way as I could with my hands crossed ; but 
I stuck to the new style, knowing that it would be a 
big improvement in the end. I had batted the other 
way so long that it was hard for me to correct it. 
That is the reason I advise all boys with a tendency to 



no THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

hold a bat with the wrong hand on top to change 
immediately, because the longer they keep on hitting in 
that way, the harder it will be for them to adopt a 
new style. No one will ever be a hitter, swinging in 
this awkward manner, because the hands cannot guide 
the bat accurately. Since I changed my batting form, 
I have developed into a fair-hitting pitcher. 

In Honesdale, there was a left-handed pitcher 
named Williams who could throw an out-curve to a 
right-handed batter. Now the natural curve for a 
left-handed pitcher is the in-curve to a right-handed 
batter, and Williams simply exhibited this curve as a 
sort of " freak " delivery, in practice, over which he 
had no control. He showed the ball to me, and told 
me how he threw it, and I began to wonder why a 
right-handed pitcher could n't master this delivery, 
thus getting an in-curve to a right-handed batter on a 
slow ball, which surely seemed desirable. Williams 
pitched this ball with the same motion that he used 
in throwing his in-curve, but turned his hand over and 
snapped his wrist as he let the ball go. He could never 
tell where it was going to break, and therefore it was 
of no use to him in a game. He once played a few 
games in one of the Big Leagues, but lasted only a 
short time. He did n't have enough control over this 
freak ball to make it deceptive, and, as far as the rest 
of his curves were concerned, he was only a mediocre 
pitcher. 

But it was here that I learned the rudiments of the 
fadeaway, and I began to practise them with great 
diligence, recognizing the value of the curve. I also 
started to pitch drop balls while I was in Honesdale, 
and mixed these up with my fast one and the " old 
roundhouse curve." I only used the drop when the 
situation was serious, as that was my very best, and 



A "BIG-LEAGUE" PITCHER iii 

a surprise for all the batters. Few pitchers in that set, 
indeed, had a drop ball. 

The part of the summer with the Taunton team 
apparently did me little good, beyond teaching me the 
style of base-ball played in the New England League, 
and proving to me that there is sometimes a great dif- 
ference between the salary named in a contract and 
that received. As a matter of fact, however, that por- 
tion of a season spent in the New England League was 
going to have a great influence on my future, although 
I could not foresee it at the time. 

I returned to Bucknell in the fall, where I played full- 
back on the foot-ball team; and, oddly enough, I was 
much better known as a foot-ball player at this time 
than as an exponent of base-ball. Probably this was be- 
cause I developed some ability as a drop-kicker, and, 
at college, foot-ball was considered decidedly the more 
important sport. Moreover, I received poor support 
on the college base-ball team; and no pitcher can win 
games when his men don't field well behind him, or 
when they refuse to bat in any runs. 

In the fall of 1899, the Bucknell foot-ball team went 
down to Philadelphia to play the University of Penn- 
sylvania eleven, and this proved to be one of the most 
important trips that I ever took. While our players 
were waiting around the hotel in the morning, a man 
named John Smith, known in base-ball circles as 
" Phenom John " Smith, came around to see me. He 
was an old pitcher, and had picked up the name of 
"Phenomenal (shortened to "Phenom") John" in 
his palmy days in the box. He had been the manager 
of the Portland club in the New England League dur- 
ing the previous season, and had seen me pitch with 
the Taunton nine. 

" Mathewson," he said to me, " I 'm going to Nor- 



112 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

folk in the Virginia League, to manage the club next 
season, and I '11 give you a steady job at eighty dol- 
lars a month. I know that your contract called for 
ninety dollars last season, but you will surely get this 
money, as the club has substantial backing." 

1 signed the contract then and there. The colleges 
were n't as strict about their men playing summer ball 
at that time. Now I would advise a boy who has 
exceptional ability as a ball-player, to sign no con- 
tracts, and to take no money for playing, until he has 
finished college. Then, if he cares to go into profes- 
sional base-ball, all right. 

*' I 'm going out to see you play foot-ball this after- 
noon," said Smith, as he put the contract in his pocket. 

I was lucky that day, and kicked two field goals 
against Pennsylvania, which was considered to be a 
great showing for a team from a small college, in an 
early season game, regarded almost as a practice con- 
test. Field goals counted more then — five points each 
— and there were few men in the country who were 
good drop-kickers. Hudson, the Carlisle Indian, was 
about the only other of my time. Those two field 
goals helped to temper our defeat, and we lost by 
about 20 to lo, I think. When I got back to the hotel, 
*' Phenom John " was there again. 

" You played a great game this afternoon," he said 
to me, " and, because I liked the way in which you 
kicked those two field goals, I 'm going to make your 
salary ninety dollars instead of eighty dollars." 

He took the contract, already signed, out of his 
pocket, and raised my pay ten dollars a month before I 
had ever pitched a ball for him! That contract is 
framed in Norfolk now, or rather it zcas when I last 
visited the city with the " Giants " on a spring-training 
trip. The old figures remain, with the erasure of the 



A "BIG-LEAGUE" PITCHER 113 

eighty and the correction of ninety just as '' Phenom 
John " made them with his fountain-pen. 

As you will easily believe, I went back to Bucknell 
very much pleased with myself, with two field goals to 
my credit in foot-ball, and in my pocket a contract to 
play base-ball for ninety dollars a month. 

The rest of my Minor League record is brief. 

I went to Norfolk the next summer, and won 
twenty-one games, out of twenty-three, for the team. 
And on a certain day in the midsummer of 1900, 
" Phenom John " Smith came up to me, smiling in the 
friendliest way. 

*' Matty," he began, " I Ve never regretted chang- 
ing that contract after it was signed. You have 
played good ball for me, and now I have a chance to 
sell you to either the New York National League club 
or the Philadelphia club. Which team would you 
rather be with? " 

This came to me as a great surprise, the opportunity 
to " break into the Big League " — the dream of my 
life. Only one year before, I had stood outside the 
players' gate at the Polo Grounds, on my way to 
Taunton, and had lingered to watch Amos Rusie, the 
great pitcher of the Giants, make his exit, so that I 
could see what he looked like in his street clothes, and 
also contribute a little hero-worship in the way of 
cheers. Now I was going to be a member of a Big- 
League club myself! 

" I '11 let you know in a couple of days," I told 
Smith, in reply to his question about my choice of the 
two clubs. 

Then I began to study the list of pitchers with each 
team. The Giants were a vastly different organiza- 
tion then from that of to-day, and were usually found 
near the bottom of the list toward the end of the sea- 



114 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

son. But they were in need of pitchers, and so I de- 
cided that, if I went with New York, I, a youngster, 
would ha\e a better chance to pitch regularly. They 
had n't much to lose by making a thorough trial of 
me, and they might give me an opportunity to work, 
was the way I reasoned it out. 

" I 'd like to go to New York," I told Smith; and, 
needless to say, I have never regretted my decision. 

That is how I became a Big-League pitcher, in the 
middle of the summer of 1900, at the age of nineteen 
years. George Davis was the manager of the New 
York club at the time, and the first thing he did when 
I reported for duty was to summon me for morning 
practice. 

" Now/' he said, " I 'm going to order all our fel- 
lows to go up to the bat, and I want you to throw 
everything you 've got." 

He started off himself, and I was nervous enough, 
facing the manager of a Big-League team for my try- 
out. I shot over my fast one first, and I had a lot of 
speed in those days. 

*' That 's a pretty good fast ball you Ve got, there," 
declared Davis. " Now let 's have a look at your 
curve." 

I threw him the " old roundhouse " out-curve, my 
pride and joy w'hich, as the newspapers said, had been 
" standing them on their heads " in the Minor League. 
He stepped up into it, and drove the ball over the head 
of the man playing center field and beyond the old 
ropes. 

So was an idol shattered, and my favorite curve 
wrecked ! 

" No," he said, " that * old roundhouse curve ' ain't 
any good in this company. You can see that start to 
break, all the way from the pitcher's box. A man 



A "BIG-LEAGUE" PITCHER 115 

with paralysis in both arms could get himself set in 
time to hit that one. Have n't you got a drop ball ? " 

" Yes," I answered; '' but I don't use it much." 

" Well, let 's have a look at it," he said. 

I threw him my drop ball, and he said that it was 
a pretty fair curve. 

" Now that 's what we call a curve ball in the Big 
League," declared Davis. ''As for that other big one 
you just threw me, — forget it! Got anything else? " 

" I 've a sort of a freak ball that I never use in a 
game," I replied, brimful of ambition. 

*' Well, let 's see it." 

Then I threw him my fadeaway, although it had n't 
been named at the time. He missed it by more than a 
foot (I was lucky enough to get it over the plate!). I 
shall never forget how Davis's eyes bulged ! 

" What 's that ball? " he asked. 

** That 's one I picked up, but never use," I an- 
swered. " It 's a kind of a freak ball." 

*' Can you control it?" 

'* Not very well." 

" Try it again ! " he ordered. I did, and got it 
over the plate once more. He missed the ball. 

" That 's a good one ! That 's all right ! " he de- 
clared enthusiastically. " It 's a slow in-curve to a 
right-handed batter. A change of pace with a curve 
ball. A regular fallaway or fadeaway. That 's a 
good ball!" 

And there, in morning practice, at the Polo Grounds 
in 1900, the ** fadeaway " was born, and christened by 
George Davis. He called some left-handers to bat 
against it. Nearly all of them missed it, and were 
loud in their praise of the ball. 

" Now," said Davis, in the club-house after the prac- 
tice, ** I 'm not going to pitch you much, and I w^ant 



ii6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

you to practise on that fadeaway ball of yours, and 
get so that you can control it. It 's going to be a val- 
uable curve." 

So, every morning I was out at the grounds, trying 
my fadeaway, and always aiming to get control of it 
— absolute, sure precision. I worked hours at a time 
on it, and then Davis would try me out against batters 




By permission of the American Sports Publishing Co.. New York. 

MATHEWSON'S FADEAWAY BALL. 

A. How the ball is grasped for start of the " fadeaway." 

B. The ball is held lightly with the forefingers and thumb, and 
a slow twist is given to it. It sails up to the plate as dead as a 
brick, and, when mixed in with a speedy straight or in-ball, often 
causes the batter to strike at it before it reaches him. It is a 
" teaser " for the third strike. 

C. The ball leaving the hand as it gets the final twist of the 
wrist for the " fadeaway." 

to see how it was coming along. He did n't give me 
a chance in a regular game until toward the end of the 
season, when he put me into a contest that had already 
been lost by some other pitcher who had been taken 
out. 

But, the next spring, just before the opening game 
of the season of 1901, Davis came to me and said: 



A "BIG-LEAGUE" PITCHER 117 

*' Matty, I want you to pitch to-morrow." 

This command was a big and sudden surprise to 
me. I went home and to bed about nine o'clock, so as 
to be feehng primed for the important contest. And 
the next day it rained ! Again I went to bed early, and 
once more it rained ! I kept on going to bed early for 
three or four nights, and the rain continued for as 
many days. But I finally outlasted the rain, and 
pitched the opening game, and won it. Then I worked 
along regularly in my turn, and did n't lose a game 
until Memorial Day. And that brought me up to be 
a regular Big-League pitcher. 

Many persons have asked me how I throw the fade- 
away. The explanation is simple : when the out-curve 
is thrown, the ball is allowed to slip off the end of the 
thumb with a spinning motion that causes it to bend 
away from a right-handed batter. The hand is held 
up. Now, if the wrist were turned over and the hand 
held down, so that the ball would slip off the thumb 
with a twisting motion, but, because the wrist was re- 
versed, would leave the hand with the thumb toward 
the body instead of av\'ay from it, I figured that an in- 
curve to right-handed batters would result. That is 
how the fadeaway is pitched. The hand is turned 
over until the palm is toward the ground instead of 
toward the sky, as when the out-curve is thrown, and 
the ball is permitted to twist off the thumb w^ith a pe- 
culiar snap of the wrist. The ball is gripped in the 
same way as for an out-curve. 

Two things make it a difficult ball to pitch, and the 
two things, likewise, make it hard to hit. First of all, 
the hand is turned in an unnatural position to control, 
or throw, a ball when the palm is toward the ground. 
Try to throw a ball with the hand held this way, and 
you will find it very difficult. Next, that peculiar snap 



ii8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to the wrist must be attained. The wrist is snapped 
away from the body instead of toward it, as in the 
throwing of an out-curve, and it is an unnatural mo- 
tion to make. The secret of the curve really lies in 
this snap of the wrist. 

Many times I have tried to teach other pitchers in 
the Big League — even men on opposing clubs — how 
to throw this ball; but none have ever mastered it. 
Ames, formerly of the Giants, can get it once in a 
while, but it is a ball which requires a great deal of 
practice. It is a hard ball to control, and unlimited 
patience must be used. If any boy desires to try it, 
let him practise for control first, and then try to make 
the curve bigger. Be sure to turn the hand over with 
the palm toward the ground, and throw the ball by 
snapping the wrist away from the body, which will 
send it spinning slowly up to the batter. It comes 
up ** dead," and then drops and curves in. 

In conclusion, as at the beginning, I want to em- 
phasize the value of control for young pitchers. Let 
a boy practise control, always, before he starts to learn 
curves; for again let me assure him he will win many 
more games if he can throw the ball where he wants to 
and has n't a curve, than if he has a big curve but can't 
control the ball. Another thing that a young pitcher 
must be careful about is the way in which he holds the 
ball. When I went to Norfolk to pitch, I was wrap- 
ping my fingers around the ball when I was going to 
throw a curve, so that it was evident to the batter what 
was coming. ** Phenom John " Smith came to me 
one day and said : *' Matty, you '11 have to cut that 
out. You telegraph to the batter by the way in which 
you wrap your fingers around the ball every time you 
are going to throw a curve. It won't do in this 
League. 



A "BIG-LEAGUE" PITCHER 119 

I began to practise holding the ball in the same way 
for each kind of delivery, and then adjusting my fin- 
gers as I made the motion to let the ball go from my 
hand. Boys should practise this, also, as it is fatal 
to wrap the fingers around the ball in such a way that 
a batter can see when a curve is coming. A pitcher 
should cover the ball up with his glove when facing 
the batter, anyhow. 

I always hold the ball in the same way for every 
curve, that is, with my whole hand around it, and not 
with two or three fingers wrapped on it. For a change 
of pace, I hold it loosely so that the ball can be thrown 
with the same motion as for a fast one. Sometimes, 
for a drop, I hold my fingers on the seam, to get more 
purchase on it. 

Many persons have asked me about the " moist," or 
" spit," ball. I seldom use it, because I think it is 
hard on a pitcher's arm, and difficult for the catcher 
to handle and for the players to field. It has many 
disadvantages. Occasionally, I used to try one on 
" Hans " Wagner, the great batter of the Pittsburg 
club, because it was generally believed that he did n't 
care for a moist ball; but this, too, is only one of the 
many ** theories " of base-ball. He can hit a moist ball 
as well as any other kind, and I have stopped pitching 
it altogether now. 

The only reason that I ever used it was to " mix 'em 
up." Next to control, that is the whole secret of Big- 
League pitching — " mixing 'em up." It means induc- 
ing a batter to believe that another kind of a ball is 
coming from the one that is really to be delivered, and 
thus preventing him from " getting set " to hit it. 
That is what gives the fadeaway its value. I pitch it 
with the same motion as a fast ball, but it comes up to 
the plate slowly. The result is that the batter is led 



I20 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to believe a fast one is coming, and sets himself to 
swing at a speedy shoot. The slow ball floats up, 
drops, and he has finished his swing before it gets to 
the plate. I often pitch the fadeaway right after a 
fast ball; and, as for reports that I can't control it, I 
use it right along when I have three balls and two 
strikes on a batter, which is the tightest situation a 
pitcher has to face. For it is a ball that will usually Ije 
hit slowly, on the ground to the infielders, if the batter 
hits it at all. Its value, as I have said, lies in the sur- 
prise that it brings to a batter when he is expecting 
something else. 

I have often been asked, if it is such a difficult ball 
to hit, why I don't use it all the time. The answer is 
that such a course would make it easy to bat, and, be- 
sides, it is a ball which strains and tires the arm of the 
pitcher, if thrown continuously. 

Finally, I want to say that '' Phenom John " Smith 
did a great deal toward developing me as a pitcher. 
He pointed out my weaknesses as he saw them, and 
gave me a great deal of valuable advice. H any of my 
readers expect to play Big-League ball, let them find 
some friendly " Phenom John " Smith, and get his 
advice. There are scores of old ball-players ever 
ready to help an ambitious youngster, and they are 
the best-natured men in the world. And once more — 
as I said at the beginning — remember that control 
is the thing in pitching! No man was ever a Big- 
Leaguer for long without it. 



IX 

THE FIELD-GOAL ART 

By Parke H. Davis 

Author of " Foot-ball, the American Intercollegiate Game," 

and Representative of Princeton University on the 

Rules Committee 

OF all the individual performances in foot-ball 
involving a highly perfected degree of techni- 
cal skill, none exceeds the art of kicking a 
goal from the field. Nature equips a player to run, 
to dodge, to tackle, to break through, and to block, 
although, of course, a player improves in each by prac- 
tice. Nature, however, does not equip a player to 
kick a goal. This is an art, and, like all art, it must 
be acquired by practice, — by practice long, persistent, 
patient, and exact. 

Old foot-ball men, like old soldiers, find as keen a 
delight in the reminiscences of the past as they do in 
the performances of the present. Hence v^hen they 
come together and narrate the stories of the famous 
goals from the field, they tell the tales of the most 
thrilling scenes in the history of the game, for no other 
scoring play has performed so spectacular a part in 
foot-ball, suddenly and unexpectedly v^resting victory 
out of defeat, and converting the victors into van- 
quished. And, indeed, it is the most ancient of our 
three scoring plays. The touch-down and the safety 
are American inventions of forty years ago. The field 
goal is an English inheritance, and has been famed in 
song and story for over a century. 

121 



122 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Who holds the honor of having kicked the longest 
goal from the field ? Was it a drop-kick, or was it a 
goal from placement? And was it achieved in scrim- 
mage, or was it delivered by a free-kick following a 
fair catch ? Who holds the record for the longest goal 
from a drop-kick, and who from a place-kick? Who 
has kicked the largest number of field goals in a single 
game ? And who by a supreme effort has sent a long, 
difiicult shot across the bar for a goal and thus won 
back a lost game? 

For the longest goal from the field we must go back 
to the Princeton-Yale game of 1882. How, pray, can 
this be? Plow could a player in that primitive day 
kick a goal from the field at a distance that would defy 
the attempts of a host of brilliant full-backs for more 
than three decades? 

In the first place, in that early day each and every 
player kicked the ball. Drops were used for distance 
equally with punts, the ball w^as kicked while rolling 
and bounding along the ground, and many a run, when 
the runner saw himself about to be tackled, terminated 
in a running drop-kick for goal. In fact, O. D. 
Thompson, of Yale, one of the earliest and best drop- 
kickers the game ever has known, actually defeated 
Harvard in 1878 by a running drop-kick from the 
forty-yard line. Then again, fair catches and free- 
kicks were far more abundant in the games of thirty- 
five years ago than they are to-day. Consequently 
tries for goals from the field came far more frequently 
in play, and at greater distances and wider angles than 
one sees in the modern game. Finally, the ball was 
not of such a pronouncedly oval shape in 1882 as it is 
in 1917. In the pictures of that period one usually 
finds the captain, an individual with a mustache and 
side-whiskers, clad in skin-tight flannels, holding a 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 123 

foot-ball whose ends are much flatter than those of the 
ball of to-day. Nevertheless, it was a Rugby ball, and 
the players of that period stoutly assert that they en- 
joyed no special advantage by reason of the slightly 
less spheroidal shape of the ball. 

In each one of the distance records for goals from 
the field, in fact for any goal from the field kicked from 
a distance of at least fifty yards, the wind invariably is 
and must be a factor. Thus, on the thirtieth day of 
November, 1882, a lusty, young winter's gale was 
blowing at Princeton's back, squarely into the face of 
Yale. It was the closing minutes of the first half, and 
Yale had just scored a touch-down and kicked the 
ensuing goal. Moffat now kicks off for Princeton, and 
Terry, of Yale, returns. Poe, of Princeton, the first 
of Princeton's six foot-ball Poes, all brothers, makes 
a fair catch sixty-five yards from the Blue's cross-bar. 
J. T. Haxall, who is playing the position of " next-to- 
center " in Princeton's line, now known as " guard," is 
called back to try for a goal from placement. Away 
goes the ball, but falling short, settles into the arms of 
Bacon, of Yale, who instantly leaps into flight up the 
field. As he nears the first Princeton player, without 
slacking his speed, he kicks the ball while on the run 
far down the field, where it is caught and heeled by 
Moffat, seventy yards from Yale's goal. Again Hax- 
all is sent back to bombard the goal, but again the ball 
strikes the ground in front of the bar. A short run by 
Bacon, followed by a punt, terminates in another fair 
catch by Baker, of Princeton. This player. Baker, by 
the way, was destined to be the father of another great 
player, H. A. H. Baker, Princeton's captain in 19 13. 
The ball is now put down sixty-five yards from Yale's 
goal and fifteen yards to the side of center. For the 
third time, Haxall draws back to deliver the kick. 



124 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Tossing a wisp of grass in the air, he finds the exact 
slant of the wind, and turns the seam of the ball to 
allow for its deflection. The ball at last is carefully 
pointed, and Haxall steps backward four paces. Lo- 
cating the distant cross-bar with his eye, he signals for 
the ball to settle the final finger's width upon the 
ground, and the play is on. Yale charges forward, 
and Haxall leaps for the ball, catching it with a mighty 
thud which shoots it above the outstretched hands of 
the Yale forwards, safely off on its long flight. The 
players turn and watch the spinning ball. At the 
thirty-yard line it appears to be settling. With myste- 
rious momentum, however, it clings in the air, and in 
another second sails between the posts a full yard 
above the cross-bar, scoring the longest goal from the 
field in the history of the American game, full sixty- 
five yards from placement. 

Some may say that the distance was incorrectly 
measured, or that the feat has been exaggerated by col- 
lege-mates of that day, contemporary and later his- 
torians. And yet, the longest drop-kick, achieved by 
Mark Payne, of Dakota Wesleyan in 191 5, accurately 
observed and carefully measured, is only two yards less 
than Haxall's place-kick. The drop-kick unquestion- 
ably is a more difficult performance than the place-kick. 
To accomplish the former, the player must drop the 
ball upon the ground and kick it after it has wholly 
risen on the rebound. Practice begets such precision 
in executing this difficult kick, so closely timing the 
rebound and the blow, that the eye cannot detect the 
actual rebound of the ball, but a trained ear instantly 
recognizes the rebound in advance of the kick by a 
wholly dififerent sound in the impact of the kicker's 
foot against the ball. The skill of a successful drop- 
kick is further augmented by the fact that it must be 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 127 

delivered in the face of a veritable avalanche of charg- 
ing players who come crashing through the line and 
hurl themselves against the kicker in a fierce attempt 
to block the ball. 

Previous to Mark Payne's wonderful feat, the long- 
est field goal from a drop-kick was scored by P. J. 
O'Dea, of Wisconsin, against Northwestern, No- 
vember 25, 1898. 

Like the place-kick of J. T. Haxall, this drop-kick 
was aided by a strong wind, but as a handicap this 
wind was accompanied by a swirling snowstorm which 
iced the ball, benumbed the fingers of the kicker, and 
partly obscured the goal-posts. This famous goal was 
scored in the beginning of the game. In possession of 
the ball and the superb O'Dea, Wisconsin adopted at 
the outset an exclusively kicking attack. Two ex- 
changes of the ball had taken place when O'Dea, a third 
time, was sent back to punt. From his place behind 
the line the goal-posts were faintly visible through the 
snow, full sixty-two yards away. Enticed by the 
magnitude of the feat, O'Dea suddenly determined to 
try a drop-kick for goal. The ball was passed and 
caught by O'Dea. But Northwestern's giant forwards 
are upon him, and the kick apparently is blocked. 
O'Dea leaps quickly to the left and, in the same stride, 
drops the ball. With a swinging kick he lifts it into 
the air through the very fingers of the Northwestern 
players. The officials, recognizing the sound of a 
drop-kick, leap into position to judge the accuracy of 
the attempt. The ball, soaring high above the players, 
floats upon the wind toward Northwestern's goal. 
The players, quickly perceiving the possibility of an 
extraordinary achievement, cease their play and, trans- 
fixed with amazement, watch the tumbling ball. With 
great rapidity the ball settles as it nears the goal, but 



128 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the power is behind it, and, keeping up, it grazes the 
bar, but goes over, thus scoring the next to the longest 
field goal from a drop-kick in the annals of the game. 

The debate as to the comparative merits and dis- 
advantages of these two methods of the field-goal art, 
the drop-kick versus the place-kick, is endless. While 
the drop-kick from scrimmage, or from a fair catch, 
has been in use from earliest times, the latter rarely, 
it is true, in recent years, the place-kick in scrimmage 
w^as not thought of until the middle nineties. At first 
it was believed that this form of field-goal work would 
wholly displace the drop-kick, but the drop-kickers 
still continued to appear and to startle great throngs 
by their dazzling shots across the bar. 

The honor of having scored the largest number of 
field goals in a single big game rests with B. W. Traf- 
ford, of Harvard, and was achieved against Cornell, 
November i, 1890. Five times in this game did Traf- 
ford send a clever drop-kick across the bar. Three of 
these goals were kicked from the thirty-yard line, and 
two from the thirty-five-yard line. 

This record never has been equaled, and there are 
only a few instances which approach it with one goal 
less. Alexander Moffat, of Princeton, in 1883 scored 
four drop-kicks against Harvard in a single half, and 
in 191 1 Charles E. Brickley, of Harvard, in the fresh- 
man game with Princeton, duplicated the performance. 
Indeed, only five instances can be found in which a 
player has kicked three goals from the field in a single 
game. Walter H. Eckersall, of Chicago, achieved the 
feat against Wisconsin in 1903; George Capron, of 
Minnesota, did it also against Wisconsin in 1907; W. 
E. Sprackling, of Brown, has the signal honor of hav- 
ing thus defeated Yale in 191 o, and James Thorpe, the 
celebrated Carlisle Indian, in 191 1 kicked three beau- 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 129 

tiful goals from the field at difficult distances and an- 
gles against Harvard. One of the examples of triple 
scoring by field goals was given in 19 12, by Charles E. 
Brickley, v^ho thus overcame Princeton, one of his 
goals being a magnificent place-kick from the forty- 
eight-yard line. The above seven achievements, as 
stated, read coldly indeed as mere statements of fact, 
but beneath each one is the rush and swirl of a great 
game, of crisis following crisis, and the crash and roar 
of intense action. 

While we are back in the early days of the game, 
let us contemplate at close distances some of the heroes 
of that period, whose names are fresh after the lapse 
of thirty or forty years. First and foremost was 
O. D. Thompson, of Yale. All are familiar with 
the sensational exploits a few years ago of Sanford B. 
White, of Princeton, who alone defeated both Har- 
vard and Yale. But in O. D. Thompson, Yale has a 
man who, in 1876, defeated both Harvard and Prince- 
ton, and in 1878 again defeated Harvard, and achieved 
each victory by a drop-kick across the bar. Let us 
enjoy the feat of Thompson in 1878, the manner of 
which never has occurred since. Harvard is playing 
Yale at B-oston, and the game is close and scoreless. 
A random kick sends the ball into a pond of water near 
the field, but Walter Camp, to the huge merriment of 
the spectators, plunges in and gets the ball. By an 
agreement touch-downs are not to count in this game, 
so both goals are continually bombarded with long 
drop- and place-kicks. Just as the half is closing, 
Camp kicks a goal for Yale, but time having expired 
while the ball is in flight, the goal does not count. 
The second half opens, wages, and wanes without a 
score. Camp tries a long drop, but misses the post. 
Winsor and Wetherbee, of Harvard, rush the ball back 



I30 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to Yale's side of the field. Thompson now gets the 
ball, and races brilliantly to Harvard's forty-yard line, 
where, about to be tackled, he deliberately drops the 
ball while on the run, catches it cleverly on the bound, 
and drives it between two Harvard players onward be- 
tween the posts and over the bar, for a field goal and 
the game. 

All are familiar also with the sensation caused in 
19 1 2 by the great field goal of H. A. Pumpelly, of 
Yale, kicked against Princeton from the forty-nine- 
yard line. But what would occur in this modern day 
if a player should score on Princeton some Saturday 
afternoon by a drop-kick from the forty-yard line, the 
next Saturday afternoon score upon Yale by another 
drop-kick from the forty-five-yard line, and then finish 
the season one week later by sending another drop- 
kick over Harvard's cross-bar from the forty-eight- 
yard line? This precisely is what F. W. W. Graham, 
of Pennsylvania, did in 1885. Another famous goal- 
kicker of the middle eighties, long since deceased, was 
G. A. Watkinson, of Yale, whose lamentably brief 
career was distinguished by many a beautiful goal 
from the field. A full-back who shares with these 
men the honors of that decade is \Villiam T. Bull, of 
Yale. This memorable back had the honor to achieve 
goals against both Harvard and Princeton, and to de- 
feat the latter in 1888 by two brilliant drop-kicks. 
This celebrated battle was waged upon the old Polo 
Grounds in New York. Each university produced 
that year an exceptionally strong eleven. As a result, 
their annual game from the very beginning became a 
stubborn deadlock. Time and again, each crashed 
into the other without a gain, and at no time did either 
become dangerous through rushing the ball. Just as 
the scoreless first half was closing. Bull on the last 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 131 

down sent a drop-kick across the bar from the thirty- 
eight-yard line. The second half was a repetition of 
the first, a succession of fierce, brilliant dashes into 
stone walls. Again the half was closing, the final min- 
ute being in actual flight. Yale had the ball on Prince- 
ton's twenty-yard line, far to the side of the field. The 
signal sounded for a drop-kick, and Bull fell back until 
one foot almost touched the side-line. Only a few 
seconds now remained to play. In such a difficult posi- 
tion few there were, if any, who believed that a field 
goal was possible. With a bound, the old-fashioned 
way, the ball was snapped into the hands of \\'urten- 
burg, Yale's quarter-back, who, in turn, made the 
long, low, underhand pass back to Bull. The latter 
deftly dropped the ball to the ground, swung his foot 
against it with a resounding whack, and down the 
narrow air groove shot the ball, true as a rifle bullet, 
splitting the goal space exactly in twain. 

And now, two years later, occurred a mighty drive. 
Cornell and Michigan were waging their first game, at 
Detroit. The contest was grossly unequal, Cornell 
scoring often and alone. ^lichigan's full-back J. E. 
Duflty. a natural and practised drop-kicker, was con- 
tinually bombarding Cornell's goal with drop-kicks at 
long distances, but in vain. Eventually, he essayed a 
goal from the fifty-five-yard line, then the center of 
the field. This time the ball rose high into the air, and 
with tremendous speed shot directly for the goal, cross- 
ing the bar well above the posts, and striking the 
ground a full twentv-five vards behind the bar, one of 
the best drop-kicks for accuracy and for distance ever 
executed. 

But now came and went a dreary period for the 
field goal. Good kickers were not wanting. At Yale 
was Vance ^IcCormick, at Pennsylvania George H. 



132 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Brooke ami John H. Minds, at Harvard Charles 
Brewer, and at Princeton Shepard Homans and John 
Baird, all capable of kicking stupendous goals, but the 
play itself unfortunately was out of fashion. The 
value of the performance was five points, but the 
greater ease of scoring a touch-down was too great a 
handicap to invite a try for a field goal. The yardage 
at this time, it will be recalled, was only five in three 
downs, or four downs, as popularly counted. But 
most important of all, these were the years of the 
powerful momentum mass plays. Under these two 
propitious conditions the superior eleven, obtaining the 
ball, marched in a series of unbroken downs, however 
slowly, straight down the field, unless stopped by a 
fumble, a penalty, or a voluntary kick. Tries for a 
field goal, therefore, became unattractive except by the 
weaker eleven or by the superior eleven in the face of 
a hopeless first down, two situations which rarely oc- 
curred within striking distance of the cross-bar. An 
occasional field goal, it is true, now and then was 
kicked by some one of the above men, but the long, 
spectacular goals of the eighties, excepting a forty- 
five-yard goal by George H. Brooke against Cornell in 
1895, w^re not among them. 

In 1898 unexpectedly arrived a change. In the east, 
F. L. Burnett, of Harvard, scored upon Pennsylvania 
by a dri\e of fifty yards, and E. G. Bray, of Lafayette, 
defeated Lehigh by a marvelous drop-kick in the snow 
at a distance of forty yards. In the west, P. J. O'Dea 
executed his great drop-kick of sixty-two yards, and 
followed it with a brilliant series of other difficult 
goals. Instantly the field goal again came into fashion 
and popularity. As a result, the season of 1899 
brought forth a veritable fusillade of field goals the 
country over, the most sensational of w^hich was the 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 133 

drop-kick of Arthur Poe, of Princeton, which defeated 
Yale. 

The sensational timeliness of this goal and its de- 
cisiveness rather than any extraordinariness of per- 
formance make this field goal one of the most famous 
in the history of American foot-ball. As a back- 
ground, the game itself was marvelous, a grueling 
struggle from start to finish, with the fortunes of war 
ever shifting from one side to the other. Princeton, 
at the outset by ferocious assaults, drove Yale the 
length of the field, only to be piled at last in a thwarted 
heap, two downs in succession on Yale's three-yard 
mark. Then with a single down remaining, Reiter, of 
Princeton, burst through for a touch-down, from which 
Wheeler kicked a goal. Within ten minutes, Yale 
forced Princeton back behind her own goal-line, and 
there blocked a kick which gave Yale a touch-down 
from which the ensuing try for goal was missed. 
Just as the half closed, A. H. Sharpe, of Yale, a power- 
ful drop-kicker, was sent back into the angle of the 
thirty-yard line and the side-line, to try for a goal 
from the field, and from this extremely difficult posi- 
tion achieved the feat, thus bringing the half to a close 
with Yale 10 points and Princeton 6. The second half 
was even a tighter battle than the first. Rush followed 
rush and tackle followed tackle, with spirit, vim, ham- 
mer, and bang. Substitute after substitute went in 
until, at last, of Princeton's original eleven only three 
players remained. The half waned without further 
scoring by either side. The final minute of play be- 
gins. Princeton has the ball on Yale's thirty-yard 
line. The score is ten to six against the Tigers. A 
straight-line plunge carries the ball to the twenty-five- 
yard line, but twenty precious seconds have gone. 
The Yale stands are emptying, the undergraduates are 



134 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

swarming o\er the fence eager to swoop in triumph 
upon the field. Suddenly Arthur Poe, of Princeton, 
leaves his place at end and falls back into kicking posi- 
tion. Yale's entire eleven mass to block the kick. In 
an instant the pass is made, but in that same instant 
Brown and Francis, of Yale, crash through Prince- 
ton's line and leap for Poe. The latter drops the ball 
for the kick, and as he does so, Brown blocks him from 
the side. A great shout goes up from the Yale stands 
as they see that the kick is blocked. But with a de- 
termined swing from the side, Poe kicks at the ball, 
catching it high on his instep. The ball rises into the 
air through the very arms of Francis, and, to the 
amazement of the spectators, in a big rainbow curve 
floats over the cross-bar and strikes the ground behind 
the posts. It is a goal. The score is Princeton 1 1 and 
Yale lo, and it is Princeton's undergraduates who 
swoop in upon the field. 

Of the more than four decades of intercollegiate 
foot-ball, the most prolific in exceptional instances of 
the field-goal art unquestionably has been the period 
from 1900 to 19 10. In the first year of this decade, 
Carl B. Marshall, of Harvard, drove a drop-kick 
forty-five yards over Yale's cross-bar, and Charles D. 
Daly, another Harvard captain, at that time a mem- 
ber of the Army eleven, in a game with Yale at West 
Point put a place-kick also across Yale's cross-bar from 
the fifty-yard line. The next year, 1902, that goal- 
kicker extraordinary, John De Witt, of Princeton, ap- 
peared, and furnished a galaxy of goals in each season 
of his career. In addition to many goals against minor 
teams or at short distances, in 1902 he sent two kicks 
spinning through Cornell's uprights, one from the 
forty-five-yard line, and the other from the fifty-yard 
line, and two weeks later sent another brilliant shot 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 135 

across Yale's cross-bar also from the fifty-yard line. 
In the succeeding season, 1902, De Witt achieved the 
record of kicking a total of eleven goals from the field 
during the season, and closed his great career in a 
blaze of glory in the final game by kicking a goal 
against Yale from the forty-eight-yard line, thereby de- 
feating the Blue. The record kick for the early period 
v^as held by Pat Odea of Wisconscin, beyond 60 yards. 

This also was the year that produced that other goal- 
kicker extraordinary, W. G. Crowell, of Swarthmore. 
Here was a player who was a whole scoring machine 
in himself, dropping goals continually from all possible 
distances and angles, including a fifty-five-yard goal 
against Franklin and Marshall, the second longest 
place-kick in the history of the game. 

To the old foot-ball man who sits musing over these 
brilliant years comes in delightful reverie the picture 
of R. H. Davis, of the Army, sending his great goal 
of forty-eight yards over the heads of the Navy play- 
ers; and P. W. Northcroft, of the Navy, later achiev- 
ing identically the same performance against the Army ; 
of N. B. Tooker's forty-eight-yard goal against Yale 
for Princeton, and H. H. Norton's forty-yard goal 
that won a memorable victory for the Navy from 
Princeton; of E. W. Butler, of Cornell, annually scor- 
ing against Pennsylvania and that brilliant band of 
goal-kicking Carlisle Indians, Peter Houser, Michael 
Balenti, and Frank Hudson. 

It is dramatic setting, however, rather than mere 
statistical superiority, that gives indelible fame to a 
goal from the field. And so a goal of only thirty 
yards achieved by V. P. Kennard, of Harvard, against 
Yale, November 21, 1908, arrests our attention. Ken- 
nard was a field-goal specialist. For years he had 
practised this art over all others. The squad at Har- 



136 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

vard contained better runners, better tacklers, and bet- 
ter punters, but no one could compare with Kennard at 
dropping a goal from the field. Thus he did not ob- 
tain a place in the first line-up against Yale that mem- 
orable Saturday afternoon, but occupied a very impor- 
tant post upon the bench, keenly watching the play, and 
alert for the moment when he should be called into 
action to strike. Throughout the first half, the struggle 
was a series of dashes and crashes of one team against 
the other without a score. The half drew to a close. 
Suddenly Harvard, by a brilliant burst of power, car- 
ried the ball from their own forty-yard line to Yale's 
twenty-three-yard mark. Here occurred one of the 
famous rallies of the Blue, and three sledge-hammer 
blows by Harvard, left and right, went to naught. 
The assault was stemmed and a single down remained. 
At this juncture, Hamilton Fish, Harvard's captain, 
gave a sharp command. Instantly E. F. Ver Wiebe, 
the regular Crimson full-back, retired, and in his place 
from the side-line came Kennard. Cool, determined, 
and careful, he takes his place in drop-kicking forma- 
tion, crouching easily forward, w^aiting for the ball, 
and calculating the angle and distance to the cross-bar. 
With a swish the ball leaves the ground and shoots into 
his outstretched hands. Yale charges ; the stands arise 
en masse; Kennard kicks. Into the ball with that kick 
goes the power and accuracy of a thousand hours of 
practice, and in a single second is achieved the reward, 
as the ball cleaves the goal, giving Harvard the only 
score in that long, bitter battle. 

But if the period from 1900 to 1910 was brilliant 
in examples of the field-goal art, what are we to say 
of the decade now upon us? Each year has glittered 
with field goals. Three seasons in succession the Navy 
defeated the Army by a goal from the field after a 



THE FIELD-GOAL ART 137 

rushing attack throughout an afternoon had been in 
vain, the kick twice being deHvered by J. P. Dalton, 
and the last time by J. H. Brown. In this period, 
James Thorpe, of Carlisle, has beaten Harvard by his 
goals from the field, and Princeton and Yale have 
played a tie at 6 to 6, representing two field goals by 
H. A. H. Baker, of Princeton, one by M. B. Flynn, and 
the other the sensational goal of H. A. Pumpelly, both 
of Yale. All of the field-goal feats here narrated, 
therefore, are only prophetic. The best of the field- 
goal art is yet to come. 



X 

TACTICS AND TACTICIANS OF THE GRIDIRON 

THE tactical formations of the intercollegiate 
type of foot-ball, commonly known as 
'' plays," constitute the most distinctive char- 
acteristic of this style of foot-ball games. Soccer, 
Rugby, Gaelic and Canadian foot-ball, it is true, are 
not without brilliant manoeuvers in tactical team play, 
but no game played with a ball, whether by hand or by 
foot, with a club, racket, mallet, or crease, can compare 
as to the element of prearranged tactics, strategy, and 
generalship with the American intercollegiate foot-ball 
game. Thus it is that our game so frequently is lik- 
ened to a game of chess with living men for the pieces, 
or to the movement of troops in a mimic battle, and 
not un frequently, among humorists, to actual war. 
Indeed, there is a legend in foot-ball lore that no less a 
warrior than Augustus Caesar introduced into foot-ball 
its military element when he reformed the gentle 
Roman foot-ball game of foUis into virile and vigorous 
harpastum (a game remarkably similar to Rugby foot- 
ball), as a pastime for his legions. 

As every active foot-ball player desires to excel in 
his position upon the eleven and some day to be ranked 
as a national star, so in every squad of players, or 
equally often among their followers, is some one of 
studious, mathematical mind who desires to excel as a 

138 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 139 

tactician and strategist in the sport. Every college 
team each autumn presents one or more new plays 
which are used for a season or two and then discarded, 
but once or twice in each decade a veritable genius ap- 
pears and produces a play so ingenious and powerful 
that it wins game upon game and championship upon 
championship, and, becoming a national fixture in the 
sport, outlasts several campaigns, until finally outlawed 
by a change in the rules or superseded by another play 
still more ingenious and powerful. 

Hence it is that, when college coaches and players 
assemble after practice in their training quarters and 
while away the closing day before crackling wood fires, 
their reminiscences invariably turn to the great tactics 
and tacticians of bygone days. The veterans of thirty- 
five or forty years ago will relate to the enraptured 
youngsters of the present the story of the ^' block 
game." The players of the middle eighties will unfold 
the glorious history of the '' V trick." Fellows from 
the early nineties will add the fascinating tale of the 
famous " flying w^edge," and representatives of later 
generations will contribute the story of the " revolving 
tandem," '' guards-back," the " tackle-back," down to 
the latest great play of the present time, the " Minne- 
sota shift." 

The " block game," as its name indicates, w^as not a 
separate play, but a system of plays. It was invented 
during the turmoil of battle as a temporary and des- 
perate makeshift to avert defeat in the closing moments 
of a great game. Notwithstanding its haphazard or- 
igin, however, it presented an idea so original and 
momentous that to-day it stands not only as the first 
of the great tactical manoeuvers of the gridiron, but 
also as among the most important. For it was the 



140 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

'* block game " that later produced the rushing, run- 
ning system of attack, the dominant method of modern 
offensive foot-ball, and thus formed a basis for all 
other great plays which at one time and another have 
formed the principal features in the running attack. 

It is generally believed that " rushing the ball " is a 
distinctive feature of Rugby play, and so it is; but in 
the early years of the intercollegiate style of the Rugby 
game, running forward with the ball, although fre- 
quently employed, was distinctly subordinate to the use 
of kicks as the principal method for advancing the ball. 
Punts and drops not only were delivered continually in 
the progress of play, but the ball was kicked while 
bounding upon the ground. Every player upon the 
team was expected to kick the ball and kick it well, and 
many a run during the game terminated in a kick to 
prevent a tackle. Even the system of scoring was 
based upon a kicking attack, for four touch-downs were 
required to equal a goal from the field, although such 
a goal might have been kicked from placement follow- 
ing a touch-down. 

The cause of the inferiority of the running attack 
was due to the method of putting the ball in play, 
which, being the English " scrummage," gave to each 
side upon every play an equal opportunity to get the ball. 
Those familiar with English Rugby know that the 
ball is put in play by placing it upon the ground between 
the two rush-lines, no player of which is permitted to 
touch the ball with the hand. At a signal, the players 
of both sides strive to work the ball behind them with 
the foot. Since neither side in a " scrummage " knows 
which team will obtain the ball for the ensuing play, 
nor at what point in the line it will be forced through, 
prearranged tactics are extremely limited and a run- 
ning attack is confined to simple, solitary plays. 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 14I 

The national genius of Americans, young as well as 
old, for invention, did not long follow the practice of 
the cumbersome English " scrummage." Within two 
years after the adoption of the Rugby game, the play- 
ers had discovered a method of concerted feinting and 
forcing by which the stronger rush-line would obtain 
the ball in the " scrummages." As a result, an inter- 
collegiate foot-ball convention, held in 1880, adopted 
a new rule which gave to the eleven in possession of the 
ball at the termination of the preceding play the right 
to put it in play on the ensuing play by snapping the 
ball backward with the foot by some player in the rush- 
line, designated as the " snapper-back." It must be 
noted here, however, that the collegians of that period 
assumed that the ball once in play would pass with equal 
regularity from the possession of one side to the other 
through the operation of the customary kicking attack. 

The game was played by the various college teams in 
the following autumn along the lines assumed by this 
convention. Each side in turn put the ball in play in 
an orderly way; each set of backs, knowing in ad- 
vance that they would get the ball, executed their kicks 
and runs with greater brilliance and precision, and the 
continual kicking gave to each side equal possession of 
the ball on the snap-backs. It has been an invariable 
and fearful characteristic of foot-ball rule-making, 
however, that the slightest change in a rule often leads 
to wholly unforeseen results. Strategists and tacti- 
cians apply their powerful minds to these little changes, 
study out their possibilities to surprising limits, and 
eventually produce some tremendous and wholly unex- 
pected manoeuver to startle the rule-makers and to stir 
the sport to its foundations. So it was with this ap- 
parently simple change of 1880. 

Princeton was playing Yale in the closing game of 



142 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the season in 1880. To add to the pleasure of the 
spectators in the operation of the new rule providing an 
orderly snap-back, a close battle was being waged, and 
the final fifteen minutes of the game had arrived with- 
out a score by either side. But Yale was waxing 
stronger now. Her greater bulk and strength were 
telling in the rush-line, and Princeton was being beaten 
hopelessly back within her twenty-five-yard line, her 
cross-bar repeatedly but vainly bombarded by long- 
distance attempts to kick a goal from the field. 

Suddenly, with the inspiration which comes from 
desperation, to Francis Loney, Princeton's captain, 
came a great tactical idea — the nezv rule which pro- 
znded for the possession of the ball zms defective be- 
cause it had not also provided for its surrender. If 
Princeton did not kick the ball, but employed runs ex- 
clusively, without fumbling. Yale could not obtain 
possession of the ball, and without the ball, Yale could 
not score and Princeton could not be beaten. With the 
flashing mental quickness which characterizes true gen- 
eralship, Loney called his players about him, tersely 
stated his plan, and gave to each man the detailed or- 
ders necessary to put the plan into execution. Play 
was resumed, and instantly the strange tactics devel- 
oped. A Princeton back received the ball from the 
scrimmage, ran into the line, went down beneath a 
crashing Yale tackier, but with the ball always beneath 
him. Again the lines formed, and again the play was 
repeated. The spectators were puzzled, and Yale cha- 
grined, but time was rapidly running, and soon expired 
before Princeton's plan was solved, and the game was 
declared a draw. 

In the discussion that followed the contest, Prince- 
ton's tactics were aptly designated by a new phrase in 
foot-ball, the " block game." The majority of foot- 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 143 

ball men predicted that the manoeuver never would be 
seen again, while a few prophesied that it would there- 
after be the recourse of all elevens to avert a defeat in 
the closing moments of a drawn game. To them it ap- 
peared nothing more than a defensive manoeuver, the 
most desperate of all because it cast aside all chances of 
scoring except the remotest chance of all — a run for 
a touch-down through an entire eleven of opponents. 
There were two men, however, whose keen foot-ball 
sense perceived, far beneath the surface of the " block 
game," the possibility for a powerful and revolutionary 
offense — an attack which would substitute continual 
running with the ball for intermittent kicking, employ- 
ing the latter only enough to give variety to the assault, 
thus reversing the balance of kicks and runs which for 
fifty years had characterized the Rugby style of play. 
These two men were Pendleton T. Bryan, Princeton's 
newly elected captain, and Walter Camp, the captain at 
Yale. Each of these pioneers studied the subject with 
great secrecy, and, of course, wholly independent of 
each other, each ignorant of the discovery by the other, 
but both working along the same lines. As a result, 
both Princeton and Yale, the following autumn, 1881, 
were secretly prepared to introduce into foot-ball a new 
invention, a running attack, familiar to us all to-day 
in its more highly developed mechanism. True tac- 
ticians that they were, both Captain Bryan and Cap- 
tain Camp also turned their attention to a defense to 
their new method of attack, for it is a natural rule of 
foot-ball strategy, that one who invents a new forma- 
tion of offense immediately invents a defense against 
it. Therefore, pursuing their tactical study, these two 
men, again without the knowledge of each other, de- 
vised an identical plan to meet the running attack of 
the " block game." Princeton, at the time, was em- 



144 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

ploying a general defense based upon six men in the 
rush-line and five backs behind the line, while Yale had 
settled upon the standard defense of to-day, seven men 
in the line and four backs behind the line. Both cap- 
tains now prepared to meet the '' block game " by re- 
inforcing the rush-line with all of the backs except one, 
thus introducing into foot-ball, as it had previously ex- 
isted, another revolutionary manoeuver. Thus offen- 
sively and defensively prepared, Princeton and Yale 
awaited their struggle with one another, each captain 
chuckling over the surprise he was about to spring upon 
his opponent. 

The eventful day at last arrived. Thanksgiving after- 
noon, November 24, 1881. A throng of 4000 specta- 
tors, a crowd of amazing proportions for that period, 
had gathered at the Polo Grounds in New York. 
With the customary spreading of a secret, in this 
throng sat several hundred collegians from Princeton 
quietly gloating in gleeful anticipation of the surprise 
in store for Yale. In another section of the field sat 
several hundred men from Yale similarly anticipating 
with secret joy the manceuvers with which they soon 
would astonish Princeton. Yale w^on the toss, and 
selected the east goal, backed by a lusty young winter's 
gale. J. S. Harlan, of Princeton, then a half-back, 
afterwards an august member of the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission, poised the ball for the kick-off. 
Drawing a few steps back from the ball, he paused to 
see that all was in readiness, while the spectators quieted 
for the customary long sailing kick down the field. 
Harlan leaped forward on the run, but, as he reached 
the ball, a startling thing occurred. Instead of kick- 
ing it with a resounding whack, he struck it lightly with 
the side of his foot, sending it forward four or five feet, 
a technical kick-off ; then, stooping over and picking it 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 145 

up, he started to run with it down the field. Not- 
withstanding the unexpectedness of this manoeuver, 
Yale quickly brought Harlan to the ground. Upon the 
next play, a fumble gave the ball to Yale, but the latter 
immediately returned it to Princeton by a kick. That 
kick was the first, last, and only time that Yale laid a 
hand upon the ball throughout the long half of forty- 
five minutes, for, upon the ensuing play, the *' block 
game " broke forth on the part of Princeton — and 
broke forth furiously, monotonously, and in vain. 
Play upon play P'rinceton lined up, the ball was 
snapped, Baker, Burt, Peace, Harlan, and Shaw car- 
ried it forward, only to go down invariably beneath a 
mountain of blue jerseys as they reached Yale's line. 
Not once did Princeton kick, not once did Princeton 
fumble, and not once did Princeton score. The specta- 
tors, disgusted with the new tactics, howled and yelled 
in derision at Princeton, daring and begging the players 
to kick the ball. The call of time for the half brought 
a shout of relief from the non-collegians in the crowd. 
Their joy, however, was of short duration. Yale 
opened the second half with the ball, " dribbling " the 
kick-off precisely as Princeton had done, and following 
the play with the tactics of the " block game." Snap 
went the ball into play, and Badger, Bacon, Camp, 
and Richards in turn leaped forward w^ith the ball, only 
to go down each time before the sharp tackling of Flint, 
Bryan, Riggs, and Haxall, of Princeton. The orange 
and black, as Yale previously had done, quickly called 
up all of the backs except one, to reinforce the line. 
The crowd yelled, the crowd scolded, the crowd im- 
plored, but not a kick came from the team in blue to 
vary the monotony of the attack. Forty-three minutes 
of the half were thus expended without a score by Yale, 
without giving to Princeton a solitary play with the 



146 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

ball, and without gaining twelve yards in the entire 
chain of assaults. In the last minute of play, Storrs, 
of Yale, pierced Princeton's doubled line and raced to 
the twenty-five-yard line, where he was overtaken by 
Riggs and thrown, just as the referee's whistle termi- 
nated the game. 

Drawn games always are unpopular, and this con- 
test was unusually the object of mingled amusement 
and disgust. *' The * block game/ " said a metropoli- 
tan newspaper the next day, *' is a nuisance. It is not 
foot-ball." Said another, "If the game of the col- 
legians is to continue, the ' block game ' must be eradi- 
cated from the sport." In the college press and 
campus councils, throughout the ensuing winter, the 
controversy over the " block game " incessantly raged. 
Wiser heads saw in it, however, the possibility for a 
great improvement in the old Rugby game, provided 
some method could be devised to prevent the continual 
retention by one side of the ball. An intercollegiate 
convention was called in the spring of 1882 to solve the 
problem, but, failing to do so, adjourned. Undis- 
mayed, the foot-ball leaders of Columbia, Harvard, 
Princeton, and Yale assembled in a second convention 
in the fall of the same year. This second convention 
boldly grappled with the problem, and, after several 
hours of spirited debate, evolved the following short, 
sharp rule : 

If on three consecutive fairs and downs a team shall not 
have advanced the ball five yards or lost ten, they must give 
the ball to the other side at the spot where the fourth down 
was made. 

Thus the idea which flashed through the mind of 
Francis Loney in the Princeton-Yale game of 1880 
completed its cycle of results. That idea produced 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 147 

the " block game," and the *' block game " led to the 
establishment of the running attack. The running at- 
tack brought on the famous " fourth down rule," all of 
which together changed the Rugby game of old Eng- 
land into a distinctive American sport, and laid the 
foundation upon which the brilliant tactical forma- 
tions and manoeuvers of the succeeding decades have 
been erected. 

Incidentally, this rule brought forth the familiar five- 
yard lines of lime which has given to the playing field 
its familiar name of gridiron. 

Veteran foot-ball men, like other veterans, find as 
keen a pleasure in the reminiscences of the past 
as they do in the performances of the present. 
Hence, w^hen old foot-ball men come together in the 
happy little reunions of friends and former foes which 
characterize the hours that precede and follow great 
foot-ball games, their conversation invariably turns to 
the great plays and players of bygone days, and to the 
great tacticians who devised those plays, and thus gave 
to the players the mechanism by which their fame was 
achieved. The players of the gridiron are well known. 
Lads of ten and twelve can glibly call the roll of 
heroes of the '80s and the '90s, as well as the roll of 
those of the past decade. To these young comrades 
of the great foot-ball world such names as Camp, Poe, 
Cumnock, Stagg, Cowan, Sears, Bell, Heffelfinger, 
King, and Knipe are known and honored, although 
nearly twenty years have come and gone since the last 
of these laid aside his moleskins. 

Tactics and tacticians, however, have not been simi- 
lar favorites of fame. Tactics are technical and care- 
fully thought out; and tacticians perform their part 
of foot-ball in the seclusion of their study and the 
coaches' council-rooms. Yet the story of many of the 



148 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

tactical creations of the gridiron is as fascinating as its 
spectacular feats. 

If one who has lived long in foot-ball, seen much, 
and remembered well were asked which are the great- 
est plays of all time in American foot-ball, tactically 
considered, he would reply : the V trick, the flying 
w edge, guards-back, the turtle-back, the revolving tan- 
dem, the tackle-back, and the Minnesota shift. 

Ah, what thrilling memories come back to some of 
us at the mention of the V trick ! Memories of great 
crowds hushed and breathless as the mighty engine of 
humanity plowed its ponderous way through opposing 
players, and of the mighty shout that went up as some 
daring defender hurled his body against the gigantic 
wedge, and, single and alone, sent the mass of eleven 
men, tangled and helpless, crashing to the ground. 

What was the V trick ? As finally perfected, it was 
the formation of the eleven players of the offense into 
a V-shaped mass, apex forward, and solidified by the 
players w^rapping their arms about each other. The 
formation massed ten yards behind the line of scrim- 
mage, — there was no rule in those days requiring play- 
ers of the offensive side to stand upon the line, — and, 
at the snap of the ball, the great mass, firmly locked and 
in step with machine-like precision, ponderously but 
swiftly moved forward, being in full motion before it 
reached the defenders. The player with the ball was 
hidden within this formidable mass of men, which was 
rendered still more powerful by having the heaviest 
men in the apex. This was the first of the famous 
momentum-mass plays of thirty years ago. 

Skill, indeed, was necessary to execute the V trick, 
but courage as w^ell as skill was necessary to stop it. 
When the offensive eleven fell back to form the *' V," 
the defensive line deployed widely along the line of 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 149 

scrimmage, because no one of them knew in advance in 
which direction the " V " would come. The instant 
the ball was put in play and the V simultaneously 
moved forward, the defensive rushers leaped forward 
toward the mass. The first player to strike the V usu- 
ally was the guard or tackle upon the side of the V's 
direction. If this player, with the height of skill and 
force, struck with his shoulder the knees of the second 
man in the apex of the V, the wedge with a loud report 
would collapse, its men would pile up a writhing heap 
of arms and legs, beneath which would be the player 
who had wrought the havoc, and the player with the 
ball, darting out from the rear of the disrupted wedge 
into the open field, would be caught in a shearing tackle 
by the nimble defensive end, who had lain back alertly 
awaiting such an outcome to the manceuver. 

Unlike other great tactical productions of the grid- 
iron, this truly great play was not the result of long 
and laborious study and experimentation, but was the 
sudden conception of a player in the turmoil of a 
desperate battle. This game was the contest between 
Pennsylvania and Princeton, October 25, 1884, and 
the inventor of the play was Richard M. Hodge, of 
Princeton, a young sophomore quarter-back playing 
upon the team. Hodge, in response to a request for 
an authentic, first-hand account of the creation of this 
famous play, has contributed the following to the his- 
tory of the sport: 

" In the middle of the game. Captain Bird, of Prince- 
ton, had called upon Baker, '85, a half-back, to run 
behind the rush-line, which charged seven abreast 
down the field. It was an old play, and gained little 
ground the second time it was used. It suddenly 
struck me that if the rush-line would jump with the 
snap of the ball into the shape of a V, with the apex 



I50 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

forward, we ought to gain ground. A consultation 
was held, and upon the next play the formation was 
tried. Baker plowing in the V to Pennsylvania's five- 
yard line, from which on the next play he was pushed 
over." 

Following this game, the tacticians at Princeton im- 
proved this manoeuver by withdrawing the eleven, for 
the formation, ten yards behind the line of scrimmage, 
thereby gaining the momentum of the ten-yard rush 
forward, and the trick was reserved for the opening 
play in the game with Yale. Achieving indifferent 
success in this game, the play was abandoned in 1885, 
but revived and improved in 1886, in which year it 
was employed so successfully that by 1887 and 1888 
it had become the regulation opening play, supplant- 
ing the kick-off, upon all the teams in the country, and 
remained so until 1894. A curious feature of the play 
throughout all of these years was the technical pre- 
servation of the kick-off which the rules required. 
This ingeniously w^as accomplished by the player with 
the ball standing at the apex of the V. When the 
signal to begin play was given by the referee, this 
player touched the ball to the ground and his foot sim- 
ultaneously, without releasing the ball from his hand, 
thereby complying with the rule to kick-off, which in 
those days imposed no yardage for the kick. 

Thus the V trick became one of the commonplace 
manoeuvers of foot-ball, so regularly executed that no 
idea, however slight, occurred to players or public that 
it would be supplanted. But a thunderclap in a clear 
sky was soon to break. In the city of Boston was a 
gentleman, unknown in foot-ball but well known in 
many other activities, among which was a fondness 
for chess. This gentleman was Mr. Lorin F. Deland. 
Turning his propensity for problems in chess to the 




THE REVOLVING TAXDEM! 
Notice compact interference 





THE " V ' TRICK 
Showing the formation in detail 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 153 

field of foot-ball, he quickly evolved an astounding 
manoeuver, and secretly taught the play to Captain B. 
W. Trafford's team at Harvard. The play was sprung 
at Hampden Park, Springfield, November 19, 1892, in 
Harvard's game with Yale. Yale winning the toss, 
selected the ball and opened the battle with the time- 
honored V trick. The long half of forty-five minutes, 
fiercely fought, came to an end without a score. After 
the usual intermission, the teams again took the field, 
and Harvard had the ball for the opening play. Yale, 
assuming that, of course, the play would be the cus- 
tomary V trick, deployed widely along the line, 
Hinkey, Winter, McCrea, Stillman, Hickok, Wallis, 
and Greenway crouching low and trembling with eager- 
ness to hurl themselves against the wedge. To the 
surprise of the players in blue, however, and to the 
consternation of the spectators. Harvard did not form 
a V. Instead, Trafford, Harvard's captain, holding 
the ball, took a position at the center of Harvard's 
forty-five-yard line. The remaining players in two 
sections fell back to their twenty-five-yard line, each 
section grouping near its side-line. Without putting 
the ball in play, Trafford signaled with his hand, and 
the two groups of players leaped swiftly forward in 
lock-step, converging toward Trafford and gathering 
tremendous momentum as they ran. Just as they 
reached Trafford, the latter put the ball in play and 
disappeared within the great flying wedge as it passed 
him crashing into the Yale men, who, until the ball 
was put in play, were forced to stand still upon their 
line and thus with no momentum of their own be struck 
with the flying weight of the eleven men in crimson. 
Straight through the Yale team this mighty flying 
wedge plowed and crashed, until, torn to pieces by their 
fearless opponents, Frank Butterworth, of Yale, 



154 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

brought Trafford down twenty yards from Yale's goal. 

Of all the major tactics in foot-ball, this play, the 
flying wedge of Lorin F. Deland, unquestionably was 
the most spectacular, the most famous, and the most 
momentous in results. Within one year, it had sup- 
planted the V trick upon every team in the country, 
and brought forth hundreds of tacticians ambitious to 
achieve the success and fame of Mr. Deland, thereby 
giving an enormous impulse to the tactical department 
of the sport. The tirst result was the introduction by 
George W. Woodruff, the old Yale guard, famous as 
Pennsylvania's greatest coach, of the flying principle 
into a full system of scrimmage plays at Pennsylvania. 
Yale drove the principle still farther, and produced a 
mechanism which made a flying wedge possible upon 
every play. Lorin F. Deland followed up his gigantic 
success by producing the famous turtle-back, the first 
play to introduce the revolving principle into inter- 
ference. The turtle-back was formed by the eleven 
players of the offensive team grouping into an oval 
behind the center-rush, and so intertwining their arms 
about each other that, when the ball had been snapped 
and handed by the quarter-back to some back hidden 
within the depths of the turtle-back, the formation 
slowly and heavily would roll or revolve to one side, 
and, as the defenders vainly threw themselves in front 
of the rolling formation, thus would unwind the runner 
with the ball, accompanied by an interferer, out and 
around the end into a clear field. 

Now, the ultimate object of any offensive formation 
in foot-ball was to mass the greatest number of men at 
one point with such momentum that the impetus of the 
play could not be withstood. This object these various 
momentum mass-plays not only achieved, but achieved 
with such a surplus of power that arms and legs of 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 155 

valiant defenders were endangered, so that the public 
began to protest against the unnecessary roughness of 
the evolutions, and the sport began to pass into a 
period of such disorganization that its very existence 
was threatened. In the quarrels that arose directly and 
indirectly from the execution of these momentum-mass 
plays. Harvard ceased to play with Yale, Princeton 
wnth Pennsylvania, and other ancient academic rivalries 
and friendships halted. As a consequence, the rules 
of the sport were changed in 1896, and the momentum- 
mass play, powerful, famous, and spectacular, was 
abolished by the simple mandate of the Rules Com- 
mittee : 

No player of the side in possession of the ball shall take 
more than one step toward his opponent's goal, before the 
ball is in play, without coming to a full stop. 

Although this rule removed the momentum element 
from offensive foot-ball, yet it did not take away the 
mass feature. Thus two great foot-ball geniuses, 
famous players, famous coaches, and famous tacticians 
brought to a culminating perfection in 1896 two mar- 
velous mass plays, radically different, but so powerful 
that they swept the team of each to victory through 
game after game. The first of these was the justly 
celebrated play of George W. Woodruff, known as 
guards-back, and the second was the equally celebrated 
play of Philip King, of Princeton, known as the re- 
volving tandem. 

Guards-back, as its name indicates, was formed by 
arraying both guards behind the line and upon the same 
side, usually behind the opening between the opposing 
tackle and guard, and by shifting the back-field men 
also across to the side, behind the guards, with the mid- 
dle back, usually the full-back, slightly in advance of 



156 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the other two backs. This formation not only arrayed 
the preponderating weight of the team against one 
point, but did so in such a way that the direction of 
the play automatically would change during the execu- 
tion. If the opposing tackle remained out, the play 
crashed between him and the guard; if he charged in, 
the play, without a signal and without a check, plowed 
outside of him, thus comprising in sheer power and 
ingenuity one of the most remarkable and one of the 
most successful plays ever invented. With this mech- 
anism of attack, the University of Pennsylvania, whose 
coach Mr. Woodruff was, employing it continually 
throughout a game, won victory after victory, season 
after season. The manoeuver only passed away when 
outlawed by a rule designed to accomplish that object 
by requiring five men to be upon the line of scrimmage 
when the ball was put in play, and requiring the two 
line-men behind the line to be either five yards back or 
outside of the men on the end of the line. 

Philip King's great play, the revolving tandem, was 
conceived and worked out in the space of two hours. 
It became Princeton's chief manoeuver of attack dur- 
ing the season of 1896, achieving for the orange and 
black Princeton's greatest victory over Yale in the num- 
ber of touch-downs scored, and also crushing Harvard 
in a memorable game on Soldiers' Field, at Cambridge. 
King's preliminary formation found the two ends play- 
ing two yards behind the line, just to the outside of 
their respective tackles. At the snap of the ball, one 
tackle sprang from the line, his opponent being blocked 
by the end stepping obliquely forward and whirling 
across between his center and quarter-back, aiding the 
opposite end and tackle to make the opening. In the 
meantime, the back field with lightning swiftness was 
in motion toward the same side, the two backs on that 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 157 

side cleaving between the opposing tackle and end. 
When the opponents' charge was felt and the opening 
began to choke, Princeton's formation, now compact, 
began to revolve toward the outside, thus whirling the 
player with the ball out around the end and defensive 
back into a clear field; or, if the defensive end warily- 
remained out, whirling the player with the ball through 
the opening between the opposing end and tackle. 

During the period, however, in which guards-back 
was winning triumph after triumph for Pennsylvania, 
there was an old Yale foot-ball player studying medi- 
cine in the former university. Like many veterans of 
the gridiron with a fondness for the tactical feature 
of the sport, this medical student, with miniature field 
and players upon a table in his room, enjoyed the di- 
version from time to time of studying the tactics of the 
sport. This man was Henry L. Williams, well re- 
membered as a famous half-back at Yale twenty-seven 
years ago and also as a champion hurdler for the blue, 
and equally known to-day as the inventor of the two 
greatest foot-ball creations of the past eighteen years 
— the tackle-back and the Minnesota shift. 

Notwithstanding the extraordinary perfection of 
guards-back, Williams saw that another play was pos- 
sible, based upon the same idea, but wholly different in 
construction. To him, the necessity of playing the 
backs five yards behind the line, in guards-back, seemed 
a weakness in the great play. Therefore, after pro- 
longed and profound study, he evolved a new forma- 
tion in which a tackle from one side was brought back 
and stationed behind the tackle upon the other side of 
the line, with the three backs arrayed in the form of a 
triangle directly behind the rear tackle, the entire for- 
mation requiring a distance not more than three and 
one half yards from the rush-line in which to form, 



158 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

thus saving the additional yard and a half required by 
guards-back, to cover which in the forward charge 
frequently had been the latter formation's undoing. 
From this formation Williams then worked out an 
entire system of plays, striking all points in the line, 
straight and across, with a bewildering series of varia- 
tions involving delayed and double passes. The first 
opportunity to put these plays into execution was given 
Williams by Penn Charter School, of Philadelphia. 
This school instantly swept all opponents from the field 
and captured the championship of the school teams of 
Philadelphia. Yale. Williams's alma mater, at once 
investigated the system, but over-conservatism, which 
unfortunately characterized the large institutions of 
the east, caused Yale's foot-ball leaders to reject the 
tactics as too radical. Penn Charter, notwithstand- 
ing, continued to employ the system and continued 
to win championships. And now occurred a spec- 
tacular vindication of these plays. The final week in 
November, 1899, had arrived, and Army was facing 
its great battle with Xavy, with an abundance of giit 
but with a weak team, poor plays, and a bad record. 
In this crisis, the foot-ball leaders at West Point sent 
for Williams. He arrived Monday evening, and, be- 
fore taps had sounded that night across the Plains at 
West Point, had outlined to his charges the principles 
of his playing system. Only three playing' days re- 
mained. In this brief time the Army mastered Wil- 
liams's plays, and upon the following Saturday met the 
Navy at Philadelphia in a tremendous battle. Wil- 
liams's great engine of attack lanced and hammered 
until the Navy's goal-line had been crossed three times ; 
the unexpected had happened; the Army had won. 

Upon the side-lines during this game stood Walter 
Camp and Gordon Brown, of Yale, whose team had 



TACTICS OF THE GRIDIRON 159 

just been beaten by Princeton and tied by Harvard, 
and who thus were forced to see the demonstration of 
the soundness of Williams's playing system. And 
then Yale adopted the plays. Late in the ensuing fall, 
their eleven burst upon public attention with an as- 
toundingly powerful attack. Williams's system as ex- 
ecuted by Yale had surpassed in brilliancy the expecta- 
tions of those who knew it. Instantly, far and wide 
the play became known as the tackle-back. Yale 
closed the season by soundly defeating both Harvard 
and Princeton, and one year later every team in the 
country was employing the tackle-back formation of 
attack. 

Williams's second great creation was the Minnesota 
shift. As generally known, the Minnesota shift is a 
complete and complex system of plays which are 
made from a rapid shift of the team from a 
primary central strategic formation into a wholly 
different formation and position for attack. The prin- 
ciple involved in the plays is simple. The offensive 
eleven knows from the signal what the second offensive 
formation will be, and the exact place upon the field 
where it will be formed, and they also know the play 
that will be launched from that formation. The de- 
fense, not knowing at what point the offensive line will 
be strengthened, are thus compelled to protect all points 
in their own line, and are prevented from reinforcing 
the point of attack until the great Minnesota shift has 
swung and the attack is charging and crashing for- 
ward. 

This truly great play takes its name, of course, from 
the University of Minnesota. It was devised espe- 
cially for the team of that institution by Dr. Williams, 
the university's coach, and in turn by that team was 
introduced to the foot-ball world. 



i6o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Again it was Yale that gave Williams's new play its 
national popularity. Originally taught to Minnesota 
by Williams, it easily won its road to victory in the 
west. The crisis of the season of 1910 found Yale 
demoralized by the havoc in its preliminary schedule 
wreaked by minor elevens. One week before the 
teams' final trials, Harvard and Princeton grimly 
awaited their battles with Yale, confident of an over- 
whelming victory, with their chief ambition not to win 
but to make a record score. In this crisis for the blue, 
Thomas L. Shevlin, Yale's old end-rush and captain, 
came to New Haven, took the team in charge, and in 
one week taught the eleven the system of the Min- 
nesota shift. The following week Yale met Princeton 
and beat the Tiger five points to three. One week 
later, Yale met Harvard, and Harvard left the field 
beneath a score board which read " Harvard o, Yale o." 

From that day to this, the Alinnesota shift has been 
one of the dominating formations in present-day tactics 
of the gridiron. 

In addition to the above, such leaders as Percy 
Haughton of Harvard, Fielding Yost of Michigan and 
Alonzo Stagg of Chicago have all proved to be master 
strategists under the modern rules. Haughton's de- 
velopment of hiding the ball in attack has never been 
equaled in foot-ball. In this play \ht defense was 
baffled by not knowing who carried the ball, nor just 
where the thrust was to be made. The " fake " and 
" delayed " pass operated as the basis for this offensive 
drive. 

Yost's development of the forward pass proved the 
great value of the play and caused its adoption by many 
eastern teams. But this and other recent developments 
have not superseded most of the tactical principles de- 
scribed. 



XI 

THE midget's nerve 
By Leslie W. Quirk 

THE coach smoothed out the creases in the let- 
ter a Httle nervously, and looked up at the 
captain of the foot-ball team. 

" You know, Boomly, how I feel about this/' he 
said slowly. 

Boomly straightened up his ponderous shoulders and 
eyed the coach keenly. 

" Certainly, Parker ; you 've a right to feel that way, 
only—" 

" Only what? "snapped the coach. 

" Only we must play them. We can't ignore the 
challenge. Either we play them or we 're afraid to 
play them — that 's what the public will say." 

" I know it," agreed Parker, disconsolately. He 
looked up at the pennant on the wall, and read the 
words: ''Championship, 191 6." "You're right, I 
suppose, Boomly ; we are n't really champions unless 
we defeat them. But I have always objected to post- 
season games. The team has done its best work, and 
it 's mighty apt to go stale, you know. Besides — " 

"Well?" 

Parker turned and stared silently out of the win- 
dow. Just above his eyes, his brow snarled into two 
little puckers. 

" It 's Allison at quarter-back," he said presently. 

" He 's lost his nerve. In that last game, when the 

161 



i62 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

signals crossed, and the center snapped the ball to him, 
he stood there, frightened to death, and Ganley came 
through the line like a hurricane and took it out of 
his very hands. You can't do anything with a fellow 
who 's lost his nerve. Now, * Midget ' Blake — " 

Boomly shook his head savagely. '' Worse than 
Allison!" he sneered. "The Midget never had any 
nerve to lose ! " 

Parker gulped once or twice, started to speak, hesi- 
tated, and finally brought his fist down on the polished 
table before him. 

" Boomly," he said, '' I 'm going to be frank with 
you. You aren't giving the Midget a fair chance; 
you spoil his plays by your own refusal to work into 
them. He is pure grit whatever you may think. You 
don't believe it, I 'm sure, because I 've known you long 
enough to understand that your honesty has the upper 
hand of your prejudice. He is n't a brilliant player, 
and the grand stand will never go wild over him. But 
he plays the game for all it is worth! Give him a 
chance, and you '11 see the fastest and most reliable 
little quarter-back the old college ever turned out." 

" Aw ! " said Boomly, in disgust. '' I tell you, 
Parker, that kid 's a quitter." 

Parker stood up, with his thin lips closed. 

" Boomly," he said, " we '11 play the post-season 
game for the championship of the West on one con- 
dition — that Midget Blake is behind the center as 
quarter-back." 

The big full-back rose slowly. " All right," he said 
reluctantly, '' we '11 play it then." He went over to the 
door and opened it slightly. " But I tell you again," 
he declared, with his hand on the knob, " the Midget is 
a quitter! " 

Somebody pushed the door gently inward, and Mid- 



THE MIDGET'S NERVE 163 

get Blake, looking like a baby beside the brawny full- 
back, pushed his way into the room. His cheeks were 
red, and his breath was coming faster than usual. 

" Ah ! Boomly," he saluted gravely, and held out his 
hand to Parker, who had stepped forward quickly. 
" I came to tell you that my parents have asked me to 
drop my athletic work," his even voice went on; '' but 
if there is to be a post-season game, as rumored, I am 
going to stay out with the squad. If I get a chance to 
play " — he stopped and looked squarely into Boomly's 
face — " if I get a chance to play, I '11 — I '11 play! " 

For a moment the big full-back captain hesitated, 
upon the point of apologizing. Then, without speak- 
ing, he walked rapidly out. 

The next day the Midget wxnt in at quarter-back. 
Boomly gave over the entire running of the team to the 
boy, and helped him in every way possible. But the 
friction was there. Instead of suggesting changes for 
strengthening plays or formations, the full-back simply 
pointed out to the other members of the team the 
Midget's faults. The boy bore it bravely, however, 
and though he flushed painfully at times, he never lost 
his temper. 

Day by day the first and " scrub " elevens battled. 
In spite of the fears of the coach, the team seemed to 
be at its best. Each player recognized what was at 
stake. Bit by bit, unusual as it was at the fag-end of 
the season, the varsity eleven improved. When the 
squad trotted out on the field the day of the game, 
every man was confident of the result. 

Promptly at three the game began. A silver coin 
was snapped high in the air, and Boomly grinned con- 
tentedly when he won the toss. 

'' You kick off to us," he told the other captain in 
his drawling voice, as if he were ready to do nothing 



i64 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

more important than eat his dinner instead of play a 
championship foot-ball game. Boomly always drawled 
his words and lumbered about awkwardly before the 
beginning of a big game. 

The ball went straight into his arms on the kick-off, 
and he lowered his head and charged down the field like 
a mad bull, swerving from side to side, plunging past 
desperate tacklers. When they downed him at last, 
the ball was exactly in the middle of the field. 

Almost before the last man was off the ground, the 
teams were in position. Boomly stood back of the 
little quarter-back, fearing to detect some sign of nerv- 
ousness in the voice that should call the signals. But 
it came with a sharp, clear distinctness that made the 
full-back grin with delight. The boy had not lost his 
nerve as yet, whatever might happen later. 

The first play was a line rush, through left center. 
Boomly carried the ball for a short gain, but when he 
came out of the scrimmage his hand was bleeding. 

" It 's nothing," he declared brusquely. " Line 
up!" But his gaze never left the face of the right 
guard on the other team. 

It was the first down again on the second play. 
The third dragged, and there was no gain. Then the 
Midget's clear voice rattled off four numbers, and the 
backs prepared for an end run. It was timed to a 
second, and behind splendid interference the runner 
advanced the ball fifteen yards. But when Boomly 
arose from a clash with the end who should have 
stopped the play, he missed the Midget. 

He was back where the play had started, lying very 
white and still. Boomly called for water, and dashed 
some in the boy's face. 

" Want to quit ? " he asked, with a little note of sneer- 
ing triumph in his voice. 



THE MIDGETS NERVE 165 

The Midget sat up with a jerk, and then sprang to 
his feet. 

" Line up," he yelled shrilly, running up to ball. 
" Line up there, Bilkins, I say." Then he lowered his 
voice as Boomly asked him a question. " Yes, it was 
the right guard," he said. " He is n't a brute at heart, 
but he simply goes crazy when the ball is in play. He 
does n't know what he is doing at all." 

The right guard was a foeman to fear. He seemed 
to lose all understanding when the ball was snapped, 
and his only aim was to reach it. He was a veritable 
maniac. Twice Boomly protested to the official, and 
twice the man claimed not to have seen any foul play. 

At last the man began to get upon Boomly's nerves. 
Down in his heart he grew to fear him. The fellow 
ground the big full-back's hand in the soft dirt, and 
trampled over his legs. Boomly was sore and bruised, 
but he gritted his teeth and played like a demon. 

The first half ended without a score, and the second 
seemed to be going the way of the first. The Midget 
was dirt-begrimed, with scratches and cuts on his face. 
Boomly was looking at him with a new light in his 
eyes. The little quarter caught his glance once, and 
understanding blushed like a girl. Even his voice 
quivered a Httle as he called the signal for the next 
play. 

There were only five minutes to play when the 
chance came. The big right guard seemed to have the 
strength of a whole eleven, and was battering down 
formations that should have been invulnerable. 
Boomly was playing by sheer will power, sore and ach- 
ing in every limb — and afraid! He confessed it to 
himself, sick at heart. Nor was he the only one. But 
the little quarter-back — Midget Blake, " the quitter " 
— seemed absolutely fearless. 



i66 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' But he does n't get the brunt of the fellows' at- 
tacks," Boonily told himself. "If it came to a clash 
between them, the Midget would fail us. He 'd have 
to; and he 'd have a right to." 

The play began as an end run, and terminated in 
a wildly scrambled fuml)le back of the line. The ball 
hit the ground on one of its pointed ends, and bounded 
high in the air and far to one side. 

With a cry that was half rage, half despair, Boomly 
leaped after it. Close at his heels was the Midget. 
It was only a forlorn hope that the next bound would 
not carry the ball yards to one side. 

But the bounding of a football is without rule or 
reason, and, to his joyful surprise, the pigskin leaped 
gently into Boomly's very arms. 

A quick glance showed him a deserted field ahead 
clear to the looming white goal-posts. Over to the 
left was a mass of struggling players, not yet aware of 
the fumble, or, at least, powerless to act quickly enough 
to interfere. And ahead was a deserted field — not 
deserted, for from the side, driving ahead like a great 
battering ram, came the other team's right guard. 

Boomly's heart seemed to stop beating. Instinc- 
tively he tucked the ball under his left arm, and raised 
his right to protect himself. But he knew he could 
never pass that right guard; knew it as surely as if he 
had already been tackled and thrown ! 

" All right, Boomly," yelled a clear, unwavering 
voice in his ear; "all right; I'll take him. Go it! 
Go it ! It 's an easy touchdown ! " 

A little form sprang ahead of the big full-back, and 
Boomly recognized the Midget. Somehow a great 
flood of confidence spread over him. He could make 
the touchdown if the Midget dared to stop that demon 
of a right guard ! 



THE MIDGET'S NERVE 167 

Close behind the Httle quarter-back he ran, fearing 
lest at the last the boy should be afraid. But the Mid- 
get never faltered for a moment. 

All at once Boomly saw the boy gather himself and 
literally plunge through the air at the man ahead. His 
hands were by his sides, and he made no effort to hold 
off the tackier foully. But his little body hit the right 
guard squarely, like a cannon-ball out of the air, and 
the player rolled over and over. 

Boomly ran on. His brain cleared suddenly, and 
the fear left his heart. A great desire took hold of him 
to go back and apologize to the Midget for even sug- 
gesting that he was lacking in courage; but in a mo- 
ment he himself had planted the ball between the white 
goal-posts. 

Having scored the touchdown, he left Blenden to 
kick goal, and ran back to where the little quarter-back 
had fallen. The Midget was sitting up, grinning 
broadly at the cheering mob in the grand stand. When 
he saw Boomly, he grasped his big hand, pulled himself 
up by it and danced wildly around the big full-back. 

"You did it, Boomly!" he yelled. "You did it! 
You won the game ! " 

Boomly held him off at arm's-length. 

"Why, you little fool!" he said. "You little — 
you little nervy fool! You won it yourself!" 



XII 

THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 

By Ralph Henry Barbour 
Author of " The Crimson Sweater," " Crofton Chums," etc. 



it 



I 



WISH," murmured Billy Piper, " they 'd let me 
play!" 

It was a chill, cloudy November afternoon, and 
Billy, sprawled in the big arm-chair in front of the 
library fire, was very unhappy. Things had n't gone 
well to-day at school, where the teachers had been hor- 
ribly unjust to him; nor at home, where he had been 
scolded for arriving late for dinner ; Tommy Blue, his 
most particular chum, was confined to the house with 
double mumps; and, to add to the burden of his woes, 
or to remind him of the principal one, half a dozen fel- 
lows, togged and sweatered, carrying a battle-scarred 
foot-ball and dangling their head-guards, had just 
passed the window on their way to the field to prac- 
tise for the final and all-important game of the year, 
that with Meadowville. 

Usually, Billy went along, envious but interested, to 
watch the luckier boys at work; but to-day he was at 
outs with the world. What was most awfully wrong 
was that George Marquis, captain of the Hillside 
eleven, refused to perceive in Billy the qualities desired 
in a member of that gallant band of gridiron warriors. 
George said that Billy was much too light for either 

line or back-field, while grudgingly acknowledging 

i68 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 169 

that he could kick and was fast on his toes. Con- 
sequently, Billy, who all summer had looked forward 
almost breathlessly to securing a position as an end or 
a back, had been — and still was — horribly disap- 
pointed. Of course he realized that he was pretty 
light — he was only thirteen, you see, and by no means 
large for his age — but he was quite convinced that 
he was clever enough at punting and drop-kicking and 
carrying the ball, to atone for his lack of weight. But 
Captain Marquis did n't think so, and Billy was out 
of it for another year at least. 

He had been trying to read a story that was all about 
school life and foot-ball, but he did n't want his fun at 
second-hand to-day. He wanted to make history him- 
self ! The book toppled unnoticed to the hearth-rug, 
and Billy went off into a wonderful day-dream, his 
round eyes fixed entrancedly on the glowing coals in 
the grate. He saw himself playing left half-back for 
Hillside in the Thanksgiving Day game with Meadow- 
ville, making sensational rushes, kicking marvelous 
goals from the field, cheered and applauded, a veritable 
foot-ball hero if ever there was one! When, after an 
hour of desperate battle. Hillside had conquered, and 
Billy, on the shoulders of admiring comrades, was be- 
ing carried from the field, he woke from his day-dream 
with a sigh. 

" I wish," he said longingly, addressing no one in 
particular, since there was no one there, but gazing 
very intently at the gloomy corner of the room where 
lounge and bookcase met and formed a cave of shadow 
— " I wish I could do all that ! Gee, but I do wish I 
could!" 

" Well," said a small, gruff voice that made Billy 
sit up quickly, very straight and surprised, in his chair, 
" you were long enough about it I " 



I70 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

From the dark corner there suddenly emerged into 
the firelight the strangest, most astonishing person 
Billy Piper had ever seen or dreamed of. He was 
scarcely higher than Billy's knee, and he was prepos- 
terously thin; and his head was quite out of propor- 
tion to any other part of him. But the queerest thing 
of all was his face. It was as round as — well, as a 
basket-ball, and very much the same color and texture. 
From the middle of it protruded a long, pointed nose, 
the end of which twitched up and down and from side 
to side as he moved across the floor. His eyes were 
tiny and sharp, and looked for all the world like two 
of Billy's most precious green-glass marbles, while his 
thin mouth stretched almost from one perfectly enor- 
mous ear to the other. 

He was dressed in a funny, tight-fitting suit of rusty 
black, with pointed shoes that were ridiculously like 
his nose, and a sugar-loaf hat of faded red with the 
letters D. A. in front and a green feather that fell de- 
jectedly over his face and seemed to be trying to tickle 
his nose. And under one pipe-stem of an arm, clutched 
with claw-like brown fingers, was a foot-ball nearly 
half as large as he was ! 

Billy stared and stared, open-mouthed and wide- 
eyed, and thought, very naturally, that he must be 
dreaming. But the queer visitor soon put that notion 
out of his head. *' Well, well ! " he ejaculated crossly 
in his small, gruff voice. " Lost your tongue, have 
you?'' 

" N-no, sir," stammered Billy. " But I — - 1 did n't 
hear what you said." 

" Yes, you did ! Boys are all stupid. You did n't 
understand. I said you were long enough about it.'* 

"About wh-what?" asked Billy. 

"About wishing, of course! Don't you know fair- 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 171 

ies can't grant a wish until it 's been made three times ? 
You wished once and then kept me waiting. I don't 
Hke to be kept waiting. I 'm a ver}' busy person. 
Nowadays, with every one wishing for all sorts of silly 
things that they don't need and ought n't to have, a 
fairy's life isn't worth living." 

'' I 'm very sorry," murmured Billy, apologetically. 
"I — I did n't know you were there." 

" ' Did n't know ! ' ' * Did n't know ! ' That 's what 
every stupid person says. You should have known. 
If you didn't expect me, why did you wish three 
times?" 

'' Why, I — I don't know," said Billy. " I was just 
— just wishing." 

" Oh, then maybe you don't want your wish? " asked 
the other, eagerly. "If that 's it, just say so. Don't 
waste my time. I 've an appointment in IMeadowville 
in — in — " He took off his funny sugar-loaf hat, 
rested the end of the feather on the bridge of his long 
nose, and spun the hat around. '' One — two — 
three — four — " The hat stopped spinning and he 
replaced it on his head. " In four minutes," he ended 
sternly. 

" Th-that 's a funny way to tell time," said Billy. 

" I never tell time," replied the stranger, shortly. 
" Time tells me. Xow, then, what do you say? " 

" Th-thank you," said Billy, hurriedly, remembering 
his manners. 

" Xo, no, no, no, no, no ! " exclaimed the other, ex- 
asperatedly. *' \A'hat about your wish ? Do you, or 
isn't it?" 

" WTiy — why, if it isn't too much trouble," stam- 
mered Billy, " I 'd like to have it very, very much." 

''Of course it 's trouble," said the Fairs*, sharply. 
" Don't be any stupider than you have to. But every- 



172 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

thing's trouble; my life is full of trouble; that 's what 
comes of being a D. A." 

"If you please," asked Billy, politely, " what does 
D. A. mean?" 

" Director of Athletics, of course. It could n't mean 
anything else, could it? Really, you do ask more silly 
questions ! Now then, now then, look alive ! " 

'' Yes, sir, but — but how? " asked Billy, anxiously. 

" Repeat the incan, of course." 

**The — theincan?" 

" Tation ! Don't tell me you don't know it ! " The 
Fairy was almost tearful, and Billy naturally felt aw- 
fully ashamed of his ignorance. But he had to ac- 
knowledge it, and the Fairy, casting his eyes toward 
the ceiling in protest, rattled off the following so rap- 
idly that it was all Billy could do to follow him: 

" I wish this once ; 
I wish this twice ! 
Grant me the wish 
That I wish thrice ! 

" Repeat, if you please! " said the Fairy. Billy did 
so, stumblingly. 

The Fairy grunted. " Stupid ! " he muttered. 
*' Did n't know the incan. What are w^e coming to ? 
What are we coming to ? In the old days, boys did n't 
have to be told such things. Modern education — 
pah ! " And the Fairy fairly glared at Billy. 

" I 'm awfully sorry, Mr. Fairy," he said. 

" H-m, at least you have manners," said the Fairy, 
his ill-temper vanishing. " Well, here it is." He 
tapped the foot-ball he held w-ith the claw-like fingers 
of his other hand. 

" But — but I did n't wish for a foot-ball," faltered 
Billy, disappointedly. 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 173 

"Of course you did n't! Who said you did? You 
wished you might play in Saturday's foot-ball game 
and be a hero and win the game for your team, did n't 
you ? Or, if you did n't, how much? Or, other things 
being as stated, when ? " 

" Yes, sir, I did ! And could I — could you really 
give me my wish ? " 

"Drat the boy! What am I here for? Wasting 
my time ! Wasting my time ! Fiddledunk ! " 

" I beg your pardon? " 

" I said fiddledunk ! I always say fiddledunk when 
angry. What do you say?" 

" I say — I say — " Billy had the grace to blush 
and keep silent. 

" I know ! " exclaimed the Fairy, triumphantly. 
" You say ' Jerriwhizzum ! ' You should n't ! It 's al- 
most swearing ! You 're a very bad boy, and I don't 
know that you ought to have your wish ! " 

" But I don't ! " gasped Billy. " I never said ' jer- 
riwhizzum ' in my life." 

" You just said it! Don't tell me! Don't tell me! 
Guilty or not guilty? Guilty! Remove the pris- 
oner!" And the Fairy grinned gleefully and mali- 
ciously at Billy. 

" But — but I meant I never said it before, sir ! " 

" Why don't you say what you mean ? " demanded 
the other, evidently disappointed. " Are you or for 
w^hat purpose did you not? Answer yes or no imme- 
diately. No answer. Discharged! Now then, what 
do you say? " 

" Thank you very much," said Billy, promptly. The 
Fairy smiled. 

" Not at all ! Not at all ! Glad to be of service. 
You have excellent manners — for a boy. Perhaps in 
time you'll get over being so stupid. I did. I used 



174 THE BOYS' ROOK OF SPORTS 

to be awfully stupid. You would n't believe it now, 
would you? " 

*' Oh, no, indeed! " cried Billy. The Fairy actually 
beamed. 

*' I took a correspondence course, you see." 

" A correspondence course? " murmured Billy, ques- 
tioningly. 

" In non-stupidity. Try it." 

*' Thank you, I — I might, sometime." 

" Time! " exclaimed the Fairy, twirling his hat again 
on the tip of the feather and counting the spins. 
" Dear me ! Dear me ! I 'm — seven — eight — 
nine — nine minutes late! Did you ever? I really 
must go, I really must. Here is the magic foot- 
ball—" 

"Oh, is it a magic foot-ball?" exclaimed Billy, in 
surprise. 

'* Of course it is! There you go again with your 
silly questions! Taking up my time! Didn't I just 
tell you that I was — how many minutes late did I 
say?" 

'' Nine, I think." 

"'You think!' You ought to know! Now I'll 
have to do it again." He spun the hat and it stopped 
at six. " I thought you were wrong," he said in tri- 
umph. " You said it was nine ! Stupid ! " 

Billy thought it best not to argue with him. 
" Wh — what do I do with the foot-ball? " he asked. 

"Play with it, of course. Did n't think it was to 
eat, did you?" 

" N-no, but — " 

" This foot-ball will do everything you want it to. 
If you want it to come to you, you say ' Come'; if 
you want it to go, you say — " 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 175 

*' Go ! '' murmured Billy. 

" Not at all ! " exclaimed the Fairy, testily. " I wish 
you wouldn't jump to conclusions. If you want it to 
go you say * Og! ' " 

"Og?" faltered Billy. 

*' Of course. When the ball comes to you, it comes 
forward. When it goes away from you, it must go 
backward. And ' go,' backward, is ' og.' I never saw 
any one so stupid ! " 

*' Oh," murmured the boy. " But suppose I kick the 
ball?" 

" Say ' Og.' But you 'd better not kick it very hard 
because if you do it might not like it. Magic foot- 
balls have very tender feelings." 

'' But suppose I wanted to kick it a long, long dis- 
tance ? " 

" Then say ' Og ' several times. You '11 have to try 
it for yourself and learn the ography of it. Now call 
it." 

'* Come," said Billy, doubtfully. 

The next instant the foot-ball was rushing into the 
fireplace, having jumped from the Fairy's arms, col- 
lided violently with Billy's nose, and bounced to the 
floor again. 

"Save it!" shrieked the Fairy, jumping excitedly 
about on the rug. 

But Billy's eyes were full of tears, produced by the 
blow on his nose ; and by the time he had leaped to the 
rescue the ball was lodged between grate and chimney, 
and the Fairy, still jumping and shrieking, was quite 
beside himself with alarm. Billy pulled the foot-ball 
out before it had begun to scorch, however, and the 
Fairy's excitement subsided as suddenly as it had be- 
gun. 



176 THE BOYS* BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' Stupid ! " he said severely. " You almost made 
me ill. The odor of burning leather always upsets me. 
It was most unfeeling of you." 

** But I did n't know," replied Billy, with spirit, rub- 
bing his nose gingerly, *' it was going to come so 
hard ! " 

" You should have known ! Seems to me, for a boy 
who goes to school, you are very deficient in ography 
and comeology." 

** I never studied them. We don't have them." 

The Fairy sighed painfully. " What are we coming 
to? What are we coming to ? Never studied ography 
or comeology or non-stupidity! Oh dear! Oh 
my ! " His long, thin, pointed nose twitched up and 
down and sidewise under the stress of his emotion. 
'' Well, well, there is n't time to give you a lesson now. 
You '11 have to do the best you can. I 'm very late. 
By the way, when you 're through with the foot-ball, 
just say 'Og!' seven times, and it will come back to 
me. But be careful not to say it seven times if you 
don't want to lose it. And, another thing, you 
must n't tell any one about it. Remember that ! 
Thank you for a very pleasant evening." The Fairy 
made a ridiculous bow, hat in hand, and backed away 
toward the dark corner of the room. Billy started to 
remind him that it was n't evening, but concluded that 
it would only offend him, and so did n't. Instead, 

" I 'm awfully much obliged for the foot-ball," he 
said. " Would you mind telling me who it is you are 
going to call on in Meadowville ? " 

" The name is — the name is — " The Fairy lifted 
one foot and peered at the sole of a pointed shoe. 
*' The name is Frank Lester. Do you know him ? " 

" N-no, but I know who he is," answered Billy, anx- 
iously. " He 's captain of the Meadowville Grammar 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 177 

School Foot-ball Team, and I '11 just bet he 's going to 
wish they '11 win the game! " 

The Fairy frowned with annoyance. " He can't 
wish that," he said, shaking his head rapidly. '' Be- 
sides, all the magic foot-balls are out. He will have to 
wish for something else." 

*'' But — but suppose he does n't ? " 

" ' Suppose ! ' ' Suppose ! ' I 'd just like to know," 
exclaimed the Fairy, " how many supposes you 've sup- 
posed ! You 're the most suppositionary boy I ever 
did see!" 

'' But if he did wish that," pursued Billy, " you 'd 
have to give him his wish, would n't you ? " 

The Fairy grinned slyly and put a long finger be- 
side his nose. " H wishes were fishes," he said, " beg- 
gars would ride." 

"I — I don't think that 's just the way it goes," said 
Billy. 

" Then don't ask me," replied the other, indignantly. 
" Besides, you have kept me here until I am awfully 
late for my appointment. I must be — I must be — " 

The Fairy caught off his hat and began twirling it 
about on his nose by the tip of the feather. 

" One — two — three ! " he began to count. 

The hat twirled like a top and Billy, watching it, 
felt his head swim and his eyes grow heavy. 

" Twelve — thirteen — fourteen — twenty-eight — " 
came the voice of the Fairy as though from a long 
way off. Billy wanted to tell him that twenty-eight 
did n't follow fourteen, but he was too sleepy to speak. 
" Thirty-three — thirty-six — thirty-two — fifteen — " 

It was just a whisper now, away off in the hazy dis- 
tance. 

Billy sat up suddenly and stared. The Fairy was 
gone. He rubbed his eyes. After all, then, it was 



178 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

just a dream! But, as he stirred, something rolled 
from his lap to the floor and went bouncing away un- 
der the couch. It was the magic foot-ball. 

All that happened on Saturday afternoon. Monday 
morning, Billy sought George Marquis at recess, and 
asked him to let him play on the foot-ball team. "If 
you do," he said earnestly, " I '11 win the game for 
you." 

George laughed amusedly. " How '11 you do it, 
kid?" he asked, with a wink at Harold Newman, the 
quarter-back. 

Billy flushed. "I — I can't tell you how," he stam- 
mered. " It — it 's a secret. But I can do it, George ; 
honest and truly, black and bluely! Just let me show 
you, won't you? " 

" Oh, shucks! " said the captain, " if you know how 
to win the game, you can tell me about it, can't you? 
Anyway, I guess we can win it without you and your 
secrets, Billy." 

But Billy looked so disappointed that George, who 
was kind-hearted after all, said soothingly : " I tell 
you what I mill do, Billy. If we 're ahead at the end 
of the third period, I '11 let you go in at half. How 's 
that?" 

" You won't be," replied Billy, glumly. "If you 
really want to lick Meadowville, George, you 'd bet- 
ter let me play. If you don't, you '11 be sorry for it. 
I can win that game for you, and I don't believe any 
one else can." 

George's good nature took flight. " Oh, you run 
away, kid ! " he said impatiently. ** Any one to hear 
you talk WDuld think you were a regular wonder! 
You 're too fresh ! " 

"That's all right," said Billy to himself, as George 
went off scowling, " but you '11 have to let me play 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 179 

whether you want to or not ! Unless," he added doubt- 
fully, '* that Fairy is just a — a faker, after all! " 

But that did n't seem probable, for there was the 
magic foot-ball, and the magic foot-ball did just as the 
Fairy had said it would. That afternoon, when he 
was let out of school half an hour late — Billy's head 
was so filled with foot-ball these days that there was 
almost no room in it for lessons, and he was kept after 
school as a result — he hurried home, unlocked the 
closet door in his bedroom, and took the magic foot- 
ball down from the shelf. It looked just like any 
other foot-ball. There was the name of a well-known 
maker stamped on the clean leather, and no one would 
have ever suspected that there was anything unusual 
about it. But there certainly was, as Billy proceeded 
to prove, when, the ball under his arm, he reached the 
vacant lot behind the dye-works in the next street. 
The dye-works had no windows on the back, there was 
a tumble-down board-fence around the other three 
sides of the lot, and Tommy was safe from observa- 
tion. 

When he had crawled through a hole in the fence, 
he placed the foot-ball on the ground, swung his leg 
gently, and said "Og!" softly as his foot struck the 
ball. He hardly more than touched it with the toe of 
his scuffed shoe, but the ball flew up and off as straight 
as an arrow, and bounced away from the fence at the 
farther end of the lot. Billy looked carefull}^ about 
him. No one was within sight, and so he said 
" Come! " very softly. The ball began rolling toward 
him along the ground. That was too slow, and so 
Billy said "Come!" once more and a little louder. 
Whereupon the ball left the ground and arched itself 
toward him. Billy held out his hands and the ball 
settled into them. 



i8o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

That day and every afternoon until Thursday, Billy 
continued his practice with the magic foot-ball, until 
finally he was able to judge just how to address it to 
get the results he wanted. For a short kick or pass, 
one '' Og," not very loud, was enough. For a longer 
kick, a single " Og," spoken loudly, accomplished the 
purpose. For a very long kick, say thirty or thirty- 
live yards, beyond which Billy had never tried to kick 
a ball, three " Ogs " were sufficient. And the same 
rule worked when he wanted the ball to come to him. 
He could make it just trickle toward him slowly across 
the turf, or he could make it come slambanging to him 
so hard that, as often as not, he jumped out of its way 
so it would n't knock him down. When he did that, 
the ball, instead of going past, stopped short in the 
air and dropped to the ground. In fact, Billy learned 
what the Fairy had called " ography " and " come- 
olog}'." 

A very funny thing happened the next day. When 
he got home after school — he wasn't kept in that 
afternoon, for there was a teachers' council in the su- 
perintendent's office — it occurred to him that perhaps 
it was n't necessary for him to go up and get the ball, 
e\'en though it was in the closet with the door locked. 
At all events, he thought, there was no harm in trying 
it. So he said " Come ! " very loudly, and waited there 
half-way up the front path. But nothing happened; 
not even when he said " Come ! " again, very much 
louder. But when, for the third time, he said '' Come! 
Come ! " almost at the top of his lungs, something did 
happen. There was a frightful noise at the top of the 
house, a scream from Tilda, the maid, and a grunt 
from Billy himself. When Billy picked himself up, 
gasping for breath, he was six feet nearer the front 
gate, and the foot-ball was bobbing up and down in 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL i8i 

front of him. It had taken him squarely in the stom- 
ach! 

When he went into the house, Tilda was sitting half- 
way up the stairs having hysterics, an over-turned pail 
beside her and a flood of soapy water trickling down 
the steps. Something, declared Tilda, when she had 
been calmed by the use of smelling-salts and other re- 
storatives, something had flown at her as she was go- 
ing up-stairs and clean knocked the feet from under 
her ! Just what the something was Tilda could n't say, 
but she was sure that it had been " as big as a wash- 
tub, mum, and kind of yellow, wath two big, glaring 
eyes ! " Billy, hiding the magic foot-ball 15ehind him, 
crept up to his room. In the top of the closet door 
was a big jagged hole, and the floor was littered with 
splinters ! 

Billy looked and gasped. Then he stared wonder- 
ingly at the magic foot-ball. " I guess," he muttered, 
'' I won't try that again ! " 

On Wednesday he went out to see practice. What 
he saw did n't impress greatly. Hillside did n't play 
like a team that was going to win on the morrow. 
The scrub eleven held the school team to one touch- 
down and a very lucky field-goal; and, when practice 
was over, the supporters of the team came back look- 
ing very dejected. Billy waited for George Marquis 
at the gate. 

*' George," he said, twitching the captain's sleeve, 
" don't forget what I told you ! " 

Captain Marquis pulled his arm away and scowled 
angrily at the youngster. *' Oh, let up, Billy," he 
sputtered. " You make me tired ! I 've got enough 
troubles without having to listen to your nonsense ! " 

Billy went home and wondered for the hundredth 
time whether that Fairy was putting up a game on 



i82 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

him. Suppose, after all, the Fairy had just been mak- 
ing fun of him! If George didn't let him play, how 
was he ever going to win the game for Hillside? It 
was all well enough to have a magic foot-ball that 
would come or go just as you wanted it to, and that 
would break its way through closet doors and scare 
folks into hysterics, but if you didn't get into the 
game, what good were a dozen such things ? Billy was 
sad and doubtful and pessimistic that evening. 

But the next morning he felt more hopeful. To 
reassure himself, he went over to the vacant lot with 
the foot-ball and put it through its paces to his entire 
satisfaction. And then, since it was Thanksgiving 
Day and the big game was to start at half -past ten, he 
put on his playing togs, tucked the magic foot-ball in 
the hollow of his arm, and joined the crowd that was 
wending its way to the field. He passed Tommy 
Blue's house on the way, and, in answer to his whistle. 
Tommy appeared at an up-stairs window with his face 
swathed in cotton batting and linen, and waved to him 
sadly. 

" Where 'd you get the foot-ball?" mumbled 
Tommy, enviously. 

" A fair — a fellow gave it to me," answered Billy. 
" Or maybe he just loaned it to me. It — it 's a won- 
der!" 

" Going to the game? " 
*' Yep. Wish you were, Tommy." 
" So do I ! We '11 get licked, though." 
" Bet you we don't ! Bet you we win ! " 
Tommy tried to say " Yah ! " but it hurt too much, 
and so he contented himself with shaking his head and 
looking sarcastic. " Yes, we will ! " he mumbled. 
" Like fun ! " 

" We will though, and, Tommy," — Billy sank his 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 183 

voice so the passers would n't hear — ** want me to tell 
you something nobody else knows ? " 

Tommy nodded. 

" I 'm going to win it for 'em ! " confided Billy, in 
a stage-whisper. Then, with a magnificent wave of 
his hand, he went on, pursued by Tommy's cruel and 
incredulous, if much smothered, laughter. 

We need n't dwell on that first thirty minutes of the 
game. From the point of view of Hillside, it was a 
sad affair. Meadowville outrushed, outpunted, out- 
generaled her opponent. The Hillside line could n't 
hold against the swift, hard attack of the visitors, and 
the Hillside ends were no match for the fast backs of 
the Meadowvdlle team. When the first fifteen-minute 
period was at an end, the score was 6 to o. When the 
half was over and the teams trotted off the gridiron, 
the score stood Meadowville 17; Millside o! 

Billy, hunched up on a seat in the grand stand, the 
magic foot-ball clasped to his breast, watched and wor- 
ried and almost wept. The Fairy's promise was n't 
coming true after all! He wasn't to have his wish! 
All his lessons in *' ography " and " comeology " were 
to be wasted! The magic foot-ball might just as well 
be back on the closet shelf, or, for that matter, back in 
fairy-land ! Billy felt very sorry for himself, very dis- 
appointed. 

" I suppose," he told himself dolefully, " Frank 
Lester wished they would win the game, and the Fairy 
had to give him his wish ! " 

But he made one last, final appeal before yielding to 
the inevitable. He left his seat and squirmed through 
the crowd to the home team's bench when Captain 
Marquis and his players came back, blankets and spirits 
both trailing. He got George's attention for a minute 
finally, and reminded him of his promise. George was 



i84 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

cross and impatient. ** You again ? " he exclaimed. 
•* Promise? What promise? Oh, that? Well, I said 
if we were ahead, did n't I ? We are n't ahead, so that 
settles that. Now get off the field, Billy." 

Billy did n't, though. He carried his foot-ball to the 
bench and seated himself on it, unchallenged, amongst 
the substitutes. They were all too discouraged to care 
what Billy did. Then the whistle sounded again and 
the game went on. The pigskin floated in air, was 
caught by a fleet-footed Meadowville player and 
brought back for many yards, the Hillside ends failing 
lamentably to stop the runner. A plunge at the line 
and another mark was passed. A wide end-run and 
two more w^ere traversed. Meadowville was literally 
eating up the ground, while from across the field came 
the triumphant shouting of her supporters. And then, 
not three minutes after the third quarter began, a 
strange thing happened. 

The foot-ball in use, a perfectly good, brand-new 
foot-ball, supplied by the home team at a vast expense, 
began to become deflated. A halt was called, and the 
lacings were undone and they tried to blow it up again. 
But the air would n't stay in it! It was most perplex- 
ing and most annoying. No one had ever seen a foot- 
ball act so before. But there was only one thing to do, 
and that was to find another ball. Of course. Hillside 
ought to have had another one, but she did n't ; at least, 
not at the field. There was an old foot-ball at 
George's house, but George's house was a good mile 
and a half away. So it devolved on Meadowville to 
loan her practice ball, and the Meadowville captain, 
after sarcastically stating what he thought of the stingi- 
ness of Hillside, consented to have the ball used. But 
when they went to look for it, it could n't be found ! 
It had been there a half-hour before, they were all quite 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 185 

certain of that ; but it was n't there now. Boys 
searched everywhere, even behind the stand, but to no 
avail. And then, just when Captain Marquis con- 
cluded that he would have to despatch a messenger to 
his house for tlie old foot-ball, some one brought word 
that Billy Piper had a foot-ball, and that he was sitting 
on the bench at that moment. Over hurried George. 

" Let 's take your ball, Billy," he said genially. 
" Ours is busted." 

Billy smiled and shook his head. George blustered. 

" Come on ! We '11 pay you for it, if you won't lend 
it ! Don't be mean ! " 

" I '11 lend it to you for nothing if you '11 let me play 
left half-back," said Billy. A howl of derision went 
up from the players and substitutes. George scowled 
angrily. 

'' What 's the use of being a chump? " he demanded. 
" Come on, let 's have it ! " 

But Billy shook his head. George grabbed the ball 
and tried to tug it away. Billy said '' Come ! " very 
softly under his breath, and, although Harold Newman 
and Bert Jones and Gus Neely all helped their captain, 
not an inch would that ball budge ! They had to giv^ 
it up. 

'' Oh, let him play," said Harold, very much out of 
breath. " It won't matter, George. We 're beaten 
anyway." 

George, very angry, hesitated and finally yielded. 
" All right," he said gruffly, " you can play. Give us 
the ball. Gus, you 're off." 

Billy, the recipient of a look of deadly hatred from 
the deposed Gus, trotted joyfully into the field and took 
his place. Harold whispered the signal code into his 
ear. " You won't be able to remember it," he added, 
" but you won't get the ball, so that does n't matter ! " 



i86 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Then the game began again. Meadowville was on 
her second down, with four yards to go. The quarter- 
back called his signals, the two lines heaved together, 
and — 

*'Ball! Ball!" shouted half the players. The 
Meadowville quarter had fumbled, and, strange to say, 
it was Billy who dropped to the turf and snuggled the 
ball to him. For almost the first time the Hillside sup- 
porters had something to cheer about, and they made 
good use of the chance. And half the Hillside team 
patted Billy on the back as he was pulled to his feet. 
Of course, it was only an accident, but Billy deserved 
credit just the same ! 

Hillside was on her forty-yard line when she got the 
pigskin, and Harold Newman elected to have Bert 
Jones, the big full-back, take it for a try through right 
tackle. And so he called his signals and the players 
crouched in their places and the ball was snapped. 
And then, as Bert leaped forward to take the pass from 
quarter, Billy whispered, " Come! " 

Such a befuddled-looking back-field as that was for 
an instant! Bert, expecting the pigskin, stood with 
hands outstretched to receive the ball, but clasped only 
empty air. The other players stopped, stood, and 
stared ; all, that is, save Billy. Billy was very busy. 
Already, with the ball snuggled in the bend of his arm, 
he had crossed two white lines, and he was very intent 
on crossing the rest of them. That he did n't was 
only because the opposing quarter-back outguessed him 
and brought him to earth. 

But twenty-five yards were not to be sneezed at, 
especially when heretofore the most that Hillside had 
made in one try was a scant six! George Marquis 
stopped scolding Harold and hugged Billy instead. 
Harold, too, thumped him delightedly on the back, but 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 187 

the quarter had a dazed look on his face. He could 
have sworn that he had tossed the ball toward Bert 
Jones ! 

Slightly demoralized, Meadowville lined up again in 
front of her foe. This time she watched Billy as a cat 
watches a mouse ; but when Billy, disregarding the play, 
scuttled yards across the field, the rival backs decided 
that he was faking an end-run, and paid scant attention 
to him. A moment after they saw their mistake, for 
the ball went to Billy on one of the prettiest and longest 
passes ever seen, and Billy, almost unopposed, streaked 
straight for the Meadowville goal-line! Only an end 
came near him, and Billy eluded the end deftly. Billy 
was really a clever runner, say what you like. The 
opposing quarter tried desperately to intercept Billy be- 
fore he reached the goal-line, but he failed, and the best 
he could do was to tackle him behind it and prevent him 
from centering the ball. 

You can imagine how Hillside cheered then! It 
was deafening, terrific! Even staid and serious- 
minded elderly gentlemen shouted and thumped the 
stand with their gold-headed sticks. Girls screamed 
their pretty throats hoarse, and boys — well, boys 
threw their hats in air and behaved like joyous lunatics I 
As for the Hillside players, they turned hand-springs 
and tripped each other up and behaved quite ridicu- 
lously. All save Billy. Billy, a little breathless, but 
wearing his honors modestly, yielded the ball, and 
trotted back up the field amidst a shower of congratula- 
tions. And not until Bert ones was directing the point- 
ing of the pigskin did it occur to George Marquis to 
demand of Harold why he had signaled one thing and 
done another! And poor Harold, looking very white 
and worried, could only shake his head and gaze fas- 
cinatedly at Billy. 



i88 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

But why go into further details of that last half? 
At the end of the third quarter, Hillside was two points 
ahead of Meadowville and Billy Piper had only to 
turn his head or lift his hand to have the Hillside stand 
rise to its feet and cheer itself hoarse! Such runs as 
Billy made! Ten yards, twenty, even once a full 
thirty-five! Never was such brilliant running and 
dodging seen before! Billy could have played that 
whole game alone, had he wished it, but he did n't. 
With the assurance that his team would emerge victor 
in the end, Billy let the other backs have their chances. 
And when they were stopped in their tracks, or pushed 
back for a loss, then the ball went to the infallible Wil- 
liam Piper, and said William reeled off a dozen yards, 
or two dozen, perchance; and everything was lovely. 

When the last c[uarter began, Meadowville was 
showing the strain. So was the Hillside quarter-back ! 
Poor Harold was beginning to think that he had gone 
crazy. Time after time, when he had tried to pass the 
ball to one of the other backs, or even carry it himself, 
he found that, for some strange reason, without want- 
ing to do it, he had thrown it to Billy. Of course, 
Billy always gained, and that made it all right. Only 
— well, Plarold was certainly worried ! 

A run the entire length of the field, barring ten 
yards, was Billy's heart-stirring contribution at the be- 
ginning of the final period, and from that time on until, 
wnth only a minute to spare and the ball on Hillside's 
thirty-two yards, he ended the game in a final blaze of 
glory, Billy performed like a — well, like a magician. 
I can think of no better word! 

But the last feat of all was the most astounding. It 
went down in history, I can tell you ! Even yet no other 
player has ever come within, at the very least, twenty 
yards of duplicating Billy's performance. The score 



THE MAGIC FOOT-BALL 189 

was 36 to 17 when the final sixty seconds began to tick 
themselves away. Hillside had the game safe, and it 
did n't matter very much what happened then. So 
when Billy said to Harold, " Let me try a field-goal 
from here, Harold," the quarter-back only stared and 
did n't tell him he was crazy. He only grinned. And 
then, since they all owed the victory to Billy, he con- 
sented. What did it matter how the contest ended? 
As well one way as another. And he 'd be pleasing the 
redoubtable Billy. So Billy walked back to Hillside's 
twenty-five-yard line and held out his hands, and every 
one stared in surprise. For why, with everything her 
own way, should Hillside punt and yield possession of 
the ball ? 

Billy was ambitious to outdo all his previous feats, 
and he could think of but one way to gain that end, 
and that was to make a wonderful field-goal. But 
when, with poised arms, he awaited the ball and looked 
down the field at the far-off goal-posts, he began to 
have doubts. Perhaps the magic foot-ball could n't 
doit! It was an appalling distance ! But just then the 
ball was snapped, and Billy said " Come ! " Straight 
and true it sped into his hands, Billy measured distance 
and direction again, dropped the ball, and, as it 
bounded, hit it smartly with his instep. And as he 
did so, he said '^ Og! " very loudly, and then, to make 
very certain, he said " Og ! " again and again and many 
times, and kept on saying it until the enemy came 
swarming down on him and sent him sprawling on 
his back. 

But he was up in a second, watching the flight of the 
ball, and, lest it might falter on its journey, he said 
" Og " for, perhaps, the fifteenth time. 

Friend and foe alike turned and watched the foot- 
ball. Every one held his breath. Surely it would 



IQO THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

never travel so far ! And yet it kept on going, getting 
higher and higher until, by the time it reached the end 
of the field, it v^as yards and yards and yards above 
the goal-posts. A great awe hushed the field. You 
could have heard a pin drop. And then a wild cry of 
amazement started and spread, for the magic foot-ball 
kept on going up and up and up, and getting smaller 
and smaller and smaller, until, at last, it was just a 
speck against the blue, and then — why, then it was n't 
anything at all ! It had just floated out of sight like a 
runaway toy balloon ! 

But every one agreed that it had passed exactly over 
the center of the Meadowville goal, and so what did 
it matter if the ball was lost! 

Billy, being borne off the field on the shoulders of 
enthusiastic admirers, cheered and waved at, a hero 
at last, smiled modestly. But under that smile was a 
sorrow. 

The magic foot-ball was gone! 

*' I guess," said Billy, sadly, to himself, " I must have 
said ' Og ' seven times I '* 



XIII 

THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 
By Ralph D. Paine 

S TILLMAN, the coach of the Bellehaven "first 
eleven," strolled over to the Freshman Field and 
surveyed the awkward mob of muddy young- 
sters with a wistful eye. He needed an end-rush, and 
the " scrubs " had so utterly failed to supply this de- 
mand that he was becoming haggard and sleepless. As 
for the Freshmen, they, too, had been raked over as 
with a comb, and it was the prompting of a forlorn 
hope that led him once more to scan, in sulky silence, 
these foot-ball infants who grunted and shoved with 
many horse-power of wasted effort, or fumbled the ball 
as if it were red-hot. 

" Of course there 's nothing worth fooling with in 
that bunch," he muttered. " It 's a fool's errand for 
fair. We '11 have the weakest pair of ends we have put 
on the field in years." 

He loafed along the side-line with a hopeless air, and 

was about to turn away when a flash of color across the 

field caught his dejected eye. A slim lad was peeling 

off a dark-blue sweater as he hurried to obey the call 

of the Freshman captain. A curly black head popped 

from the clinging folds, followed by an alert, swarthy 

face aglow with eager excitement. The cat-like grace 

with which the boy ran on the field and the quick vigor 

of his tall young frame made Stillman pause and say 

to himself: 

191 



192 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

"I haven't seen that skittish colt out before. He 
looks faster than chain-hghtning." 

The youth's black eyes were dancing as he sprang 
into position at the end of the Freshman line. While 
the crouching teams waited for the signal, he was in 
nervous motion, shifting his ground so rapidly that the 
stolid end of the opposing wing looked dazed and un- 
certain. 

Suddenly the best half-back of the other side was 
launched at the new-comer's end, and for once there 
was good interference. But the curly-headed lad sifted 
through the flying barrier like a wild-cat and downed 
the runner. 

The coach beckoned the captain out of the play and 
asked : 

" Who is that kid you just put in? Why have n't I 
seen him out before? " 

" He 's a South American named Gonzales," ex- 
plained the Freshman. " His father is president of 
one of those crazy republics down there — Libertad 
is the name of it. I have n't been able to coax him out 
before. He said he did n't like the game, though I 
know he played some in ' prep school.' He 'd make a 
corking end if he 'd stick to it. You 're not going to 
kidnap him, are you? " 

" I most certainly am," said Stillman. grimly. 
" And I '11 make him stick to it, to the end of the sea- 
son. He 's light, and he has an awful lot to learn ; but 
I like the way he gets into it, and he 's mighty quick on 
his feet. Send him over right away." 

The Freshman captain sighed, for he had hopes of 
turning out a winning team, but he replied loyally: 
** All right, sir ; I '11 call him out of the game." 

Sebastian Gonzales trotted up with a bow and a 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 193' 

bright smile, and asked : " What is the pleasure of the 
famous Seiior Stillman? " 

*' I want you to come over to the college squad. 
Perhaps we can make an end-rush out of you, if you 've 
got the sand." 

Sebastian bowed again, and the two walked back 
to the trampled field whereon a different style of foot- 
ball was being played from that among the Freshmen. 

" You can learn the signals in a few minutes," ob- 
served Stillman. " We 're using only a few simple 
plays as early in the season as this. I 'm going to put 
you in at left end on the scrub. Now play for your 
life, and don't mind a few hard knocks." 

The winsome smile of Sebastian faded. His heart 
was thumping, and he felt his knees shake a little as he 
pulled himself together and ran into this alarming fray. 
The broad shouldered, fierce-looking young man with 
the scrubby beard, who faced Sebastian, yanked him by 
the collar and flung him on his nose with one deadly 
swoop. The victim scrambled to his feet, his face 
ablaze with wrath ; but he fought down his temper and 
bided his time. Then the interference rolled over him 
as if he were a pebble in a mill-race, time and again, 
until he was battered and dazed by the ferocity of the 
game, while the coach dinned in his ears such insults 
as made him frantic. 

But it was not long before the college quarter-back 
fumbled a pass, and the ball bounced at the feet of the 
waiting back, who failed to get his hands on it. Sebas- 
tian whizzed past his lunging opponent, seemed about 
to fall head-long, then scooped up the ball, and was 
fleeting down the field, with both teams tearing after 
him like a pack of hounds. It was forty yards to the 
goal, but Sebastian was running as he had never cov- 



194 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

ered ground before, and the fastest back of the squad 
was losing ground with every stride. The fugitive 
shot between the goal-posts, flopped to earth with the 
ball squeezed to his chest, and looked up with a pant- 
ing, blissful smile at the captain, who was first to reach 
him. 

'* You had no business to pick up that ball, you crazy 
///' growled the captain. " Always fall on a fumble 
like that. We don't want any grand-stand plays this 
time of year. Remember that, Freshman. It was a 
flashy run, but it was n't foot-ball. Wait till you learn 
the rudiments." 

Sebastian's expressive face clouded. He was hurt 
and indignant, and he exclaimed as he picked himself 
up: 

" Senor Capitan, to make the touch-down is the 
grandes' deed of the game, is it not? I make it all by 
my lone self, and you scold me. Always they cheer-r 
for the touch-down. I do not understan' ! " 

The captain did not bother himself to argue the 
point, but roughly ordered Sebastian back into the 
game. The youth was sullen and wilted, and the sim- 
plest trick-plays fooled him. He gritted his teeth and 
did the best he could until time was called ; but in the 
dressing-room, while he took a census of the after- 
noon's bruises, he confided to Maxwell, another Fresh- 
man of the squad : 

"It is the mos' hard foot-ball you play, is it not? 
Carramba! it is funny to call it a sport, which the word 
means a pastime, a for-fun. But I will be mos' careful 
not to make no more touch-downs for a scoldin'. I 
don't like the game very much." 

Maxwell laughed and told him : " Oh, you did well 
for the first day. Of course it 's hard work, but stick 
it out and you '11 make the team. Only, for good- 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 195 
ness' sake, keep your mouth shut and take your medi- 



cine." 



" I think I will need the liniment medicine to-night 
— the arnica-bottle, eh ? " smiled Sebastian as he ten- 
derly felt of the end of his nose, which was beginning 
to swell. 

At the end of three weeks of hard practice, Sebastian 
was holding a place on the left end of the college line 
by brilliant though erratic work. No one was so fast 
as he in getting down the field under a kick, and his 
tackling in the open was a treat to see. It was a head- 
long, hurtling dive, and then two lithe arms locked 
around their victim in a clutch like a steel trap. He 
threw himself into interference as if yearning to break 
his neck, and seemed proof against disabling injury. 

And yet Sebastian was giving the captain and coaches 
no little worry. He was hot-headed and high-tem- 
pered. Opposing rushers learned that he could be 
taunted into rages which sometimes made him a prey 
for runs around his end. 

" He is n't overtrained," said the captain to Coach 
Stillman after one of these unsatisfactory days. " I 
can't make him out. Of course he 's a South Ameri- 
can, and a high-strung young animal, and he flares up 
like a bunch of tow if he 's not handled gingerly, and 
I vow he 's worn my patience to a frazzle. Can we 
pound him into shape in the next month ? " 

" Yes, except for one thing, and I hope to thunder 
I 'm wrong," responded Stillman, very soberly. " I 've 
made all sorts of allowances, for he 's got the speed 
and the dash to make a wonder. But I begin to think 
he has a yellow streak. You 're playing every day, and 
you can't follow his game as I can. I 'm afraid the 
youngster is going to turn out a quitter. I would n't 
listen to my own suspicions before to-day, but I 've 



196 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

been watching him like a hawk, and this afternoon I 
saw him dodge a heavy formation as plain as I 'm look- 
ing at you. I could see that he hesitated, and the run- 
ner got twenty yards he was n't entitled to, for his in- 
terference was rank. As I say, I Ve seen some other 
little thinofs that fit in with this. You 'd better have 
a talk with Gonzales, and don't be afraid to give it to 
him strong." 

When Sebastian limped on the field for the next prac- 
tice he was in one of his black moods. The captain 
called him to one side and broke out savagely : 

" Look here, Gonzales. You 're not playing your 
game. Do you want to be called a coward and a quit- 
ter? What will the college think of you if the men 
get a notion that you 're afraid to face the music? If 
you don't brace up to-day I '11 throw you out on the 
side-lines and tell the team why I did it ; and this town 
will be too blamed hot for you to stay in. Now go in 
like a man, for it 's your last chance." 

A dull red flush crept into Sebastian's olive cheek. 
He raised his arms in a wild gesture of grief and anger, 
and his face was so fierce and drawn that the captain 
stepped back and squared off, expecting a blow. But 
Sebastian swallowed hard and cried with shrill vehe- 
mence : 

"You must not dare call me a cowa-r-r-d! If a 
quitter is to wish to quit, to play no more this acur-r-sed 
game, I am the wish-to-quitter. Si^ Senor. It is not 
a fair game. It is not what I learned as a boy to call 
the sport in my country. It is not fair for four, five 
men to jump on one, to beat him, and fall upon him. I 
play because it is what you say proper if you wish to 
be good, gran' college man. My father tell me be good 
American boy while I am in this United States. My 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 197 

shoulder is very sore, my head is sore, my heart is sore. 
I make the touch-down — you speak to me Hke no gen- 
tleman speak. If we don't make touch-down, I am 
scolded, and my pr-r-ide, my honor, is hurt badder than 
my shoulder. Teach me the run-race, the base-ball, 
the track-at'letic team, I beat 'em all. Learn me this 
game? I say give me my machete — my pistol!" 

The captain stood aghast, thinking that the injury to 
Sebastian's head must have been far worse than it 
seemed. It was impossible to imagine a boy who could 
make the college eleven deliberately throwing away all 
the honor meant, and openly branding himself as a 
coward. The thing was unheard of. He was about 
to make angry retort, but tried the wiser plan and laid 
his hand on the shoulder of the trembling boy : 

" I can't believe you 're going to fail us, Gonzales. 
You have n't learned our ways ; that 's the trouble. 
Now play to-day for my sake, won't you, and help us to 
turn out a winning team. That 's what your father 
wants you to do, I 'm sure." 

Sebastian was instantly swayed by these kind words. 
His impulsive heart was touched, and he regretted his 
outbreak. And the captain's heart was glad, also, when 
the young rebel played the game of his life through 
that afternoon. 

But an amazing rumor spread over the Bellehaven 
campus next morning. Sebastian Gonzales did not ap- 
pear at chapel or recitations, his room was found to be 
deserted, and his trunk had vanished with him. On 
his desk was found a hastily scrawled note. It read : 

The Presidente of Bellehaven College and my Comrades. 

A telegram calls me to go away at once. I cannot have 
the time to pay my dutiful respects and explanations — to 
say adios. May be I come back some day to your fine, dear 



198 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

college; I don't can tell now. It is impossible for me to tell 
you why this suddenness of departure. It is a very secret. 
Your humbly respectable servant, 

Sebastian Morales Gonzales. 

When the report reached the foot-ball captain, he 
hurried to the vacated room, and heard this farewell 
read aloud by a group of Sebastian's wondering and 
sorrowful classmates. One of them shouted excitedly : 

" It 's awful hard luck. What are you going to do 
for a left-end ? Do you know anything about the mys- 
tery?" 

The captain w^as white with rage as he cried in the 
first shock of his disappointment : 

" Yes, I do. He 's run away because he 's a coward 
and a regular quitter. He told me yesterday that he 
w^as afraid to play foot-ball because it was too rough. 
The baby — I wish I had him here now. I 'd spank 
him across my knee. He decided to quit after yester- 
day's practice — I know he did. That 's why he 
skipped out like a thief. He did n't dare face us. 
What do you think of your classmate Gonzales? " 

The Freshmen clamored their -sympathy with the 
captain. 

" It 's an outrage ! " cried one of them. " It 's a dis- 
grace to us all. It 's a black stain on the class. But 
he '11 never have the nerve to come back. We '11 tar 
and feather him if he does. I wish there was some 
way to get even with the chicken-hearted little Span- 
iard." 

The captain left them to their tumult of abuse of 
their renegade comrade, and trudged ofY to consult the 
coach about the grave problem raised by the desertion 
of Sebastian. Their worst fears were confirmed by 
the practice of the final month of the season. They 
had no good end-rush timber with which to fill the gap ; 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 199 

and as the undergraduates crowded to the field to watch 
the practice, and reaHzed how much the team had been 
handicapped by this disaster, the feeUng against Se- 
bastian grew more and more bitter. 

The college disowned him. The Freshmen erased 
his name from the class roll, and their Greek-letter 
fraternity adopted resolutions purging its august coun- 
cils of the memory of Sebastian Gonzales. 

The great game of the season, against Williams- 
burg, was the bitterest drop in this cup of foot-ball sor- 
rows. The hated rivals won by the score of 10—5, 
and the winning touch-down w^as made on a dashing 
run around the Bellehaven left-end. The luckless lad 
who tried to fill Sebastian's shoes was too slow to tan- 
gle up the play before the interference was compactly 
under way, and it swept over him like a landslide. 

The spring term was in full tide and other outdoor 
interests had eclipsed the sad memories of autumn foot- 
ball. Shortly after the Easter recess, a mass-meeting 
was held for the purpose of arousing base-ball en- 
thusiasm and collecting funds for the athletic treas- 
ury. Nearly four hundred students crowded into 
Alumni Hall to cheer the vigorous speeches of the cap- 
tains of the college teams. 

The first appeal had been made to the " good old 
Bellehaven spirit,'' when there was a sudden stir and 
hubbub near the door. The disturbance swiftly in- 
creased to a tumult of angry cries and jeers, and pres- 
ently a yelling mob of Freshmen surged up the middle 
aisle. It seemed at first like one of the upheavals of 
class rivalry common among untamed undergraduates, 
but the time and place were so unseemly for a " ruc- 
tion " of this kind that the upper-classmen jumped 
upon their chairs in crowds to shout down the rioters. 
Presently they could see that the seething mass of 



200 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Freshmen were closely packed around a slim and strug- 
gling figure which they were dragging with them to- 
ward the platform. A" big voice in the van yelled 
above the uproar : 

" It 's the coward ! It 's Gonzales, the quitter ! 
Ride him on a rail, fellows! " 

Other voices took up the angry chorus, and then ral- 
lied to a shout from the chairs : 

** Stick him up on the platform — the traitor — and 
let him hear what w^e think of him ! " 

Hoots, catcalls, hisses broke in a rising storm as his 
capturers rushed the fighting, tattered youth up the 
steps and thrust him out in front of them so that he 
staggered and almost fell. Then they retreated and 
left him standing there alone, facing this outcry of re- 
proaches, this tempest of abuse. It was the whole col- 
lege arrayed in arms against this lonely lad, who looked 
even more fragile and boyish than before his shameful 
flight. 

His face wore a strange, dusky pallor, and as he 
stood gasping for breath, bew^ildered, trembling, it was 
noticed that a raw red line slanted across his forehead, 
and that his left arm hung at his side with curiously 
crippled awkwardness. He raised his right hand and 
strove to speak, but in vain. Again he tried, and again 
his fellow'-students rudely hooted him down. 

The sense of fair play, however, w^as working in the 
hearts of these impulsive young men, and it moved 
them to give him a hearing. For there w^as neither 
guilt nor shame in the bearing of Sebastian Gonzales, 
and it was he who asked for explanation when he began 
to speak with little catches of hard-held emotion in his 
voice : 

" I do not understan'. Why do you do me this 
way, eh ? I come back to my dear, much-estimable col- 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 201 

lege of La Belle Haven, expectant to shake the glad 
hand of my amigos, my fr'en's, my classmates. I 
come back soon as I can. My heart is filled with much 
gusto, with the great pleasure, to find here a meeting 
of all the fellows. Then I am hoot-ed, thrown into the 
mob, called hor-r-rible language. Bimeby I hear you 
think I runned away from the foot-ball, that I am a 
cowar-r-d, a quitter-r-r, a traitor-r-r, a disgr-r-ace to 
the much-beloved La Belle Haven. Ah, it is ter-r- 
r-ible ! My heart is sick. It is a gran' misunderstood." 

Sebastian stepped forward to the edge of the plat- 
form, and seemed to grow by inches as he proudly 
raised his head and spoke with rapid and vibrant ear- 
nestness : 

" Listen to me, my classmates ; hear to me, my fr'en's 
of the foot-ball and the study-room. I once tell the 
capitan of the foot-ball that I not like to play. But 
the las' day I play I vow all to myself I will not be 
afraid, and I play pretty good that day. I had been 
'shamed not to like it. I was determine', at las', to 
play until I am drop on the field. But it is all new to 
me, this, the college sport, the pastime. 

" That night I get the telegram from my father in 
Libertad. He say come home, pronto, quick; to say 
nothing to nobody. It is in a cipher. One word tell 
me the revolution has begin to make him no more 
Presidente, to kill him, to make him lose his job. I 
have one hour to catch train for New York." 

The hall had become quiet. The stripling speaker 
was carrying conviction to the eager listeners that he 
said the truth, and they w^aited for the unfolding of 
such a tale as had come to them only in books. 

Sebastian was looking over their heads, seeing pic- 
tures of another clime and race. 

" It is none too late when I arrive," he continued. 



202 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' I find my father's army fighting ter-r-rible battles 
with the revokition. My place is with him, at his 
right han'. Once before I fight through revolution 
what make my father Presidente. Then I was a sol- 
dier. This time I am cl capitan in the cavalry. 

** Two month we fight. At las', in the mountains of 
Puerto Trinidad, the rebel general, Sanchez, fight my 
father one final, great battle. You think the South 
America revolution is a joke? I tell you it is worse 
than foot-ball, I think. My cavalry regiment is with 
my father. We mus' charge Sanchez, and if we cut 
through his line we will smash his center, like foot- 
ball. My regiment ride to the char-r-ge with five hun- 
dred brave mens, with machete and revolver." 

Sebastian's boyish treble thrilled with a trumpet- 
note as he shouted : 

" Ah-h-h, my dear college ! When w^e break 
through the center of Sanchez' army, how many of 
my br-r-ave regiment you think stick in their saddles? 
Two hundred and twenty. My squadron char-r-ge 
with almos' a hundred men. How many you think go 
home to their girls from that las' fight ? No more than 
forty. They pick me up. My arm is shot pretty bad, 
and my head have fine big machete cut. Pouf, I did 
nothing! But next day Sanchez surrender to my 
father, and the Presidente is safe. Viva la Lihertad 
siempre ! " 

And as one man Bellehaven College rose to its feet 
and thundered a mighty chorus of '' Viva la Lihertad! " 

Sebastian wiped the sweat from his face, clicked his 
heels together, and saluted. Instantly he was caught 
up on the shoulders of a dozen foot-ball men, and 
borne round and round the platform, Avhile the tail of 
the procession streamed down into the aisle, chanting: 

** Viva Sebastian Gonzales! " 



THE COWARD OF THE ELEVEN 203 

It would have seemed like vanity for an Anglo- 
Saxon thus to tell of his brave deeds; but his audience 
was quick to see that Sebastian Gonzales, the Spaniard, 
told them only what his heart moved him to say in his 
defense, and they, his fellow-students, were as tinder 
to the sparks of his fiery epic. 

A cheering parade wound out into the peaceful 
moonlit night. The stately elms of the old campus 
framed a picture so eloquent of cloistered peace that 
the tale which had swept through Alumni Hall, breath- 
ing of war beneath the Southern Cross, seemed like a 
dream. This Bellehaven Freshman, then, had earned 
his place beside the names of patriots who had gone 
out from the old college to fight for country at Sara- 
toga, and Yorktown, and Gettysburg. This was the 
thought that swayed the foot-ball captain as he led 
the escort which took the boyish hero to his room. 
And when Sebastian was curled up in his beloved old 
arm-chair, the captain grasped his hand and said, with 
a touch of awe in his tone : 

" And we thought you were a quitter and afraid to 
fight! And you, a captain, leading your cavalry in a 
charge like that ; a veteran soldier facing death for his 
father's cause ! You '11 forgive all us chumps, won't 
you? We 're babes in the cradle beside you." 

Sebastian grinned as he laid an affectionate hand 
on the captain's arm : 

" I think I like to fight for my father better than the 
foot-ball sport. But maybe I learn. Next year I 
play har-r-d. We will wipe out the getting licked, my 
comrade. Viva La Belle Haven! Viva La Belle 
Haven!" 



« 



B 



XIV 

THE GAME I LOVE 

By Francis Ouimet 
Former National Golf Champion of America 

IG brothers " have a lot of responsibihty in life, 
more than most of them realize. ** Little 
brother " is reasonably certain to follow their 
example, to a greater or less degree, hence the better 
the example set, the better for all concerned. My own 
case is just one illustration. Whether I was destined 
to become a golfer anyway, I cannot say; but my first 
desire to hit a golf ball, as I recall, arose from the fact 
that my older brother, Wilfred, became the proud pos- 
sessor of a couple of golf -clubs when I was five years 
old, and at the same time I acquired the idea that the 
thing I wanted most in the world was to have the privi- 
lege of using those clubs. 

Thus it was that, at the age of five years — eighteen 
years ago — my acquaintanceship with the game of 
golf began. To say that the game has been a won- 
derful source of pleasure to me might lead the reader 
to think that the greatest pleasure of all has been de- 
rived from winning tournaments and prizes. I can 
truthfully say that nothing is further from the fact. 
Of course, I am pleased to have won my fair share of 
tournaments ; I appreciate the honor of having won the 
national open championship; but the winning is abso- 
lutely secondary. It is the game itself that I love. Of 

all the games that I have played and like to see played, 

204 



THE GAME I LOVE 205 

including base-ball, foot-ball, hockey, and tennis, no 
other, to my mind, has quite so many charms as golf, 
— a clean and wholesome pastime, requiring the high- 
est order of skill to be played successfully, and a game 
suitable alike for the young, the middle-aged, and the 
old. 

The first ^' golf course " that I played over was laid 
out by my brother and Richard Kimball in the street 
in front of our home on Clyde Street, Brookline, Mass- 
achusetts, a street w^hich forms the boundary of one 
side of The Country Club property. This golf course, 
as I call it, was provided by the town of Brookline, 
without the knowledge of the town's officials. In other 
words, my brother and Kimball simply played between 
two given points in the street. With the heels of 
their shoes they made holes in the dirt at the base of 
two lamp-posts about 120 yards apart, and that was 
their " course.'' 

Nearly every afternoon they played, while I looked 
on enviously. Once in a while they let me take a club 
and try my hand, and then was I not delighted! It 
made no difference that the clubs were nearly as long 
as I was and too heavy for me to swing, or that the ball 
would only go a few yards, if it went at all. After all, 
as I look back, the older boys were only dealing me 
scanty justice when they occasionally allowed me to 
take a club, for when they lost a ball, I used to go 
searching for it, and, if successful, they always de- 
manded its return. In the case of such a demand from 
two older boys, it is not always wise to refuse. ' 

" Big brother " was responsible for getting me inter- 
ested in golf ; " big brother " likewise w-as in great 
measure responsible for keeping me interested. On 
my seventh birthday, he made me a birthday present 
of a club — a short brassy. Here was joy indeed! 



2o6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Not only had I now a club all my own with which to 
practise, but I already had amassed a private stock of 
seven or eight golf balls. The way this came about 
was that the journey from my house to school (this 
school, by the way, had only eight pupils in it, and the 
school-house was built in Revolutionary days) took me 
past the present sixth hole of The Country Club course, 
and I generally managed to get a little spare time to 
look for lost golf balls. 

Some boys do not like to get up early in the morning. 
Any boy or girl who becomes as interested in golf as I 
was at the age of seven, will have no difficulty on that 
score. It was my custom to go to bed at eight o'clock, 
and then get up by six o'clock the next morning, and 
go out for some golf play before time to get ready for 
school. The one hole in the street where my brother 
and Richard Kimball first played had now been super- 
seded by a more exacting golfing layout in a bit of 
pasture-land in back of our house. 

Here the older boys had established a hole of about 
130 yards that was a real test for them, and, at first, a 
little too much for me. On the left, going one way, 
the ground was soft and marshy, an easy place to lose 
a ball. If the ball went on a straight line from the 
tee, it generally went into a gravel pit, which had an 
arm extending out to the right. There also was a 
brook about a hundred vards from the tee, when the 
play was in this same direction. Here, then, was a 
hole requiring accuracy ; and I cannot but think that a 
measure of what accuracy my game now possesses had 
its foundation back in those days when I was so young 
and just taking up the game. I believe, moreover, that 
any boy or girl who becomes interested in golf should 
not pick out the easy places to play at the start, simply 
because they like the fun of seeing the ball go farther. 



THE GAME I LOVE 207 

What bothered me most, in those days, was the fact 
that I could not drive over that brook going one way. 
The best I could do was to play short of the brook, and 
then try to get the second on the improvised green. 
Every now and then, I became bold enough to have 
another try to carry the brook, though each time it was 
with the knowledge that failure possibly meant the loss 
of the ball in the brook, in a time when one ball repre- 
sented a small fortune. At last came the memorable 
morning when I did manage to hit one over the brook. 

If ever in my life a golf shot gave me satisfaction, 
it was that one. It did more — it created ambition. 
I can remember thinking that if I could get over the 
brook once, I could do it again. And I did do it again 
— got so I could do it quite a fair proportion of my 
tries. Then the shot over the brook, coming back, 
began to seem too easy, for the carry one way was 
considerably longer than the other. Consequently i 
decided that for the return I would tee up on a small 
mound twenty-five to thirty yards in back of the spot 
from which we usually played, making a much harder 
shot. Success brought increased confidence, and con- 
fidence brought desired results, so that, in course of 
time, it did not seem so difficult to carry the brook 
playing either way. 

This was done with the old, hard ball, then gener- 
ally known as the " gutty," made from gutta-percha. 
About this time I picked up, one morning, a ball which 
bounced in a much more lively fashion than the kind 
I had found previously. Now, of course, I know that 
it was one of the early makes of rubber-cored balls, but, 
at that time, I simply knew that it would go much far- 
ther than the others, and that, above all things, I must 
not lose it. That ball was my greatest treasure. Day 
after day I played with it, until all the paint was worn 



2o8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

off, and it was only after long searching that I managed 
always to find it after a drive. 

Realizing that something must be done to retain the 
ball, I decided to repaint it, and did so with white lead. 
Next, I did something that was almost a calamity in 
my young life. To dry the white lead, I put the ball 
in a hot oven and left it there for about an hour. I 
went back thinking to find a nice new ball, and found 
— what do you suppose? Nothing but a soft mass of 
gutta-percha and elastic. The whole thing simply had 
melted. The loss of a brand-new sled or a new pair 
of skates could not have made me grieve more, and I 
vowed that in future, no matter how dirty a ball be- 
came, I never would put another in a hot oven to dry 
after repainting. 

All this time I had been playing with the brassy that 
Brother gave me, and all my energies w^re devoted to 
trying to see how far I could hit the ball. My next 
educational step in play came when Wilfred made me a 
present of a mashy, whereupon I realized that there 
are other points to the game than merely getting dis- 
tance. Previous practice with the brassy had taught 
me how to hit the ball with fair accuracy, so that learn- 
ing something about mashy play came naturally. Be- 
ing now possessed of two clubs, my ambitions likewise 
grew proportionately. The cow-pasture in back of our 
house was all right enough, as far as it went, but why 
be so limited in my surroundings? There was the 
beautiful course of The Country Club across the street, 
with lots of room and smoother ground ; nothing would 
do but that I should play at The Country Club. I be- 
gan going over there mornings to play, but soon dis- 
covered that the grounds-keeper and I did not hold 
exactly the same views concerning my right to play 
there. Whatever argument there was in the matter 



THE GAME I LOVE 209 

was all in favor of the grounds-keeper. Of course I 
know now that he only did his duty when he chased mc 
off the course. 

While my brother's interest in golf began to wane, 
because foot-ball and base-ball became greater hobbies 
with him, other boys in our neighborhod began to 
evince an interest in it, until it became a regular thing 
for three or four of us to play in the cow-pasture after 
school hours and most of the day Saturday. We even 
had our matches, six holes in length, by playing back 
and forth over the one 130-yard hole three times, each 
using the same clubs. We even got to the point where 
we thought it w^ould add excitement by playing for 
balls, and one day I found myself the richer by ten 
balls. But let me add that it is a bad practice for boys. 
There is too much hard feeling engendered. 

As we became more proficient in play, we began to 
look over the ground with an eye to greater distance 
and more variety, until finally we lengthened out the 
original hole to what was a good drive and pitch for us, 
about 230 yards; likewise we created a new hole of 
about ninety yards, to play with the mashy. From the 
new green, back to the starting-point, under an old 
chestnut-tree, was about 200 yards, which gave us a 
triangle course of three holes. In this way we not 
only began gradually to increase the length of our 
game, but also to get in a greater variety of shots. 

As I look back now, I become more and more con- 
vinced that the manner in which I first took up the 
game was to my subsequent advantage. With the old 
brassy I learned the elementary lesson of swinging a 
club and hitting the ball squarely, so as to get all the 
distance possible for one of my age and physical make- 
up. Then, with the mashy, I learned how to hit the 
ball into the air, and how to drop it at a given point. 



210 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

I really think I could not have taken up the clubs in 
more satisfactory order. Even to this day, I have a 
feeling of confidence that I shall be sure to hit the ball 
cleanly when using a brassy, which feeling probably is 
a legacy from those old days. 

And a word of caution right here to the boy or girl, 
man or woman, taking up the game : do not attempt 
at the start to try to hit the ball as far as you have 
seen some experienced player send it. Distance does 
not come all at once, and accuracy is the first thing to 
be acquired. 

The first time that I had the pleasure of walking over 
a golf course without the feeling that, at any moment, 
I would have to take to my heels to escape an irate 
greens-keeper was when I was about eleven years old. 
I was on The Country Club links, looking for lost golf 
balls, when a member who had no caddy came along 
and asked me if I would carry his clubs. Nothing 
could have suited me better. As this member was 
coming to the first tee, I happened to be swinging a 
club, and he was kind enough to hand me a ball, at the 
same time asking me to tee up and hit it. 

That was one occasion in my golfing career when I 
really felt nervous, though by this time I had come to 
the point where I felt reasonably confident of hitting 
the ball. But to stand up there and do it with an eld- 
erly person looking on was a different matter. It is a 
feeling which almost any golfer will have the first 
time he tries to hit a ball before some person or per- 
sons with whom he has not been in contact previously. 
I can remember doubtinc: that I should hit tlie ball at 
all, hence my agreeable surprise in getting away what, 
for me, was a good ball. 

Evidently the gentleman, who was not an especially 
good player himself, was satisfied with the shot, for he 



THE GAME I LOVE 211 

was kind enough to invite me to play with him, instead 
of merely carrying his clubs. He let me play with his 
clubs, too. That was the beginning of my caddyirig 
career. Some of the other members for whom I car- 
ried clubs occasionally made me a present of some club, 
so that it was not long before my equipment contained 
not only the original brassy and mashy, but also a 
cleek, mid-iron, and putter. 

Needless to say, they were not all exactly suited to 
my size and style of play; yet to me each one of them 
was precious. I took great pride in polishing them up 
after every usage. The second time I played with the 
gentleman who first employed me as caddy, I had my 
own clubs. I had the pleasure of playing with him two 
years later, after he came home from abroad, in which 
round I made an 84, despite a 9 at one hole. 

All this time, my enthusiasm for the game increased, 
rather than diminished, so that, during the summer of 
1906, I was on the links every moment that I could 
be there until school opened in September; after which 
I caddied or played afternoons and Saturdays until 
the close of the playing season. 

Somewhere along about that time I had a most try- 
ing experience. My brother Wilfred, who, being 
older, had become better posted on the technical side of 
the game, advised me to change my swing. I had been 
using what was more or less of a base-ball stroke, a 
half -swing that seemed to be all right so far as accuracy 
went, but was not especially productive in the matter 
of distance. Wilfred's advice struck me as sensible — 
almost any golfer, young or old, thinks well of 'advice 
that bids fair to lengthen his game. 

At any rate, I altered my swing, taking the club back 
much farther. For the succeeding two months I dis- 
covered that my game, instead of improving, gradually 



212 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

was getting worse. The old-time accuracy was miss- 
ing. More than that, a good many golf balls also soon 
became missing, for in playing on my old stamping- 
grounds — the pasture in back of the house — I 
seemed to have the unhappy faculty of getting them off 
the line into the swamp, where to find the ball was like 
looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Being quite disgusted, I tried to go back to my old 
style, only to find that that, too, was impossible. Here 
was, indeed, a dilemma! On thinking it over, there 
were only two conclusions to reach: one was that to 
become at all accurate in either the old style or the new, 
meant to make up my mind to use one of them perma- 
nently, and then simply to keep on practising in the 
hope that accuracy would come; the other was that 
even though the new style had impaired my old game, 
at the same time it was plain to be seen that, in the 
long run, it probably would be the better style of the 
two. Under the circumstances there was only one 
thing to do, and that was to continue with the longer 
swing. 

Perhaps then I did not realize the full significance of 
the choice. I do now. Had I kept on with the old 
swing, the result would have been that I probably 
would have advanced to a certain proficiency so far as 
accuracy goes, but my game would have been stilted, 
and lacking in the variety of shots which not only bet- 
ters the standard of pla}^ but which gives all the more 
personal satisfaction to the player. It was possibly 
two months after I took Brother's advice that I began 
to notice a gradual improvement. I began to hit the 
ball with the same certainty as of old, and, to my de- 
light, found that the ball traveled farther than I ever 
had been able to hit it before, and also with less expen- 
diture of effort. At first the added distance was at the 



THE GAME I LOVE 213 

expense of direction, but it was not long before my 
control over the new swing became nearly as good as 
of old. 

Back in those early days of my golfing career, I can 
remember an incident which taught me the lesson of 
always being honest with myself or with an opponent 
in the matter of scoring. The Country Club arranged 
for a caddy tournament, — I think it was the custom 
then to have these tournaments late in the autumn, 
when they would not interfere with the members. At 
any rate, this particular tournament happened to come 
on a day when there was snow on the ground. The 
boys, however, were so keen for play that this little 
handicap did not bother them. 

Some of them had less reason to be bothered than 
others. They were the ones who felt that it was much 
easier to leave out five or six holes in the course of the 
round and " guess " what they would have done at 
these holes. I can just remember that scores as low as 
yy to 80 were handed in to the officials in charge, and 
that soon there was a wrangle over the correctness of 
some of the figures returned. The upshot of it all was 
that, after considerable argumentation, it was decided 
that no prizes should be given at all. 

It was a good lesson for all of the boys concerned, 
though a little hard on those who had tried to do what 
was right. The sooner a boy, or a man for that mat- 
ter, learns to live up to the motto " Honesty is the 
best policy " in golf, as in other things, the better for 
him. There is no game which gives a competitor a 
better opportunity to cheat; but for that very reason 
there is no game in which the cheater, when discovered, 
as he usually is sooner or later, is looked upon with 
greater contempt. 

A surprising number of golfers who have won high 



214 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

honors on the Hnks the last few years, first came into 
prominence during their school-boy days, and had their 
early experiences in golfing competition while partici- 
pating in interscholastic tournaments or champion- 
ships. I think I am correct in classing among such the 
19 1 3 national amateur champion, Mr. Jerome D. Trav- 
ers; the runner-up for the 191 3 championship, Mr. 
John G. Anderson; a former national titleholder, Mr. 
Eben M. Byers; Mr. Frederick Herreshoff, runner-up 
to Mr. H. H. Hilton for the national title in 191 1 ; Mr. 
Charles E. Evans, Jr., that remarkable golfer of the 
Chicago district, not to mention many others. For my- 
self, I can look back upon my golfing days while a pupil 
in the high school at Brookline, Massachusetts, not only 
with a feeling of the pleasure then derived from the 
game, but also with the conviction that a great many 
points which I learned then have since stood me in 
good stead. 

It was as a school-boy golfer that I first had that 
feeling of satisfaction which comes in winning a tour- 
nament, and it was as a school-boy golfer that I learned 
a few things which perhaps may be useful to some boys 
who are pupils in school now and who are interested in 
golf. It was only nine years ago, in 1908, that I took 
part for the first time in an interscholastic tournament, 
at the Wollaston Golf Club, and I may as well say, 
right here, that I did not win the title ; the fact is that I 
barely qualified, my 85 being only one stroke better 
than the worst score in the championship qualifying 
division. The best score was 74, which I must say 
was extraordinarily good for such a course as that on 
which the event was played. It is a fine score there to- 
day for any golfer, even in the ranks of the men. In 
my first round of match play, fortune favored me, only 
to make me the victim of its caprices in the second 



THE GAME I LOVE 215 

round, when I was defeated 2 up and i to play by the 
eventual winner of the championship title, Carl Ander- 
son. It was inability to run down putts of about three 
feet in length which cost me that match, and, to my 
sorrow, I have passed through that same experience 
more than once since leaving school. But what I recol- 
lect distinctly about that match, aside from my troubles 
of the putting-greens, was that I felt nervous from the 
start, for it was my first " big " match. I mention this 
because it has its own little lesson, which is that the 
chances of winning are less when the thought of 
winning is so much on the mind as to affect the 
nerves. 

In the following year, 1909, I won the championship 
of the Greater Boston Interscholastic Golf Association, 
the tournament being played at the Commonwealth 
Country Club, Newton, Massachusetts. Only one 
match was at all close, that one going to the sixteenth 
green. The final, at thirty-six holes, I won by 10 up 
and 9 to play. In that tournament I learned a lesson 
invaluable, which was to avoid trying to play every 
shot equally well with my opponent. In other words, 
there were boys in that tournament who were vastly my 
superiors in long hitting. Frequently they were reach- 
ing the green in two shots where I required three, or 
else they were getting there with a drive and a mashy 
shot where I required two long shots. But, fortu- 
nately, I was of a temperament at that time which en- 
abled me to go along my own way, never trying to 
hit the ball beyond my natural strength in order to go 
as far as my opponent, and making up for lack of dis- 
tance by accuracy of direction and better putting. My 
advice to any boy is to play his own game, irrespective 
of what his opponent does. This does not mean, of 
course, that a boy should lose his ambition to improve 



2i6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

his game, or that he should be content with moderate 
distance when he might be able to do better. But the 
time for striving to do better than in the past is not 
when ambition is aroused merely through the desire to 
win some one match or to outhit some opponent. The 
average boy or man who strives in some one match to 
hit the ball harder than he does normally, generally, 
finds that, instead of getting greater distance, he 
is only spoiling his natural game. Then, the harder he 
tries, the worse he gets. Greater distance on the drive, 
as well as accuracy in all departments of the game, 
comes through practice and natural development, rather 
than through the extra efforts of some one round. 

In that tournament at the Commonwealth Country 
Club, which gave me the first championship title which 
I ever held in golf, there were a number of players who 
subsequently have achieved successes in athletic lines, 
several of them having become prominent for their skill 
in golf. Among these was Mr. Heinrich Schmidt, of 
Worcester, Massachusetts, the young player who, in 
the spring of 191 3, made such a great showing in the 
British amateur championship. Even at that time, 
'* Heinie," as we called him, was a more than ordinarily 
good golfer, and he was looked upon as one of the pos- 
sible winners of the championship. It was one of his 
Worcester team-mates, Arthur Knight, who put him 
out of the running, in a match that went two extra 
holes. '' Heinie's " twin brother, Karl, who looked so 
much like him that it was difficult to tell the two apart, 
also was in the tournament, and among others were 
Dana Wingate, later captain of the Harvard varsity 
base-ball nine; Forrester Ainsworth, the sterling half- 
back on the 19 1 3 Yale foot-ball eleven, and Fletcher 
Gill, who since has played on the Williams College golf 
team. 




Copyright hy Underwood <fc Underwood 

FRANCIS OUIMET 
Who at twenty overthrew Vardon and Ray, the great English stars 



THE GA^IE I LOVE 219 

The following year, 19 10, I was honored with elec- 
tion to the presidency of the Greater Boston Interschol- 
astic Golf Association, which did not, however, help 
me to retain the championship title, for that year the 
winner was Arthur Knight, of Worcester. 

The interesting tournament was played on the links 
of the Woodland Golf Club at Auburndale, [Nlassachu- 
sets, and in the qualifying round I was medalist, with 
a score of jj. Singularly enough, I had that same 
score in winning my match of the first round, and also 
had a jj in the second round ; but on that occasion it 
was not good enough to win; for Francis ^lahan, one 
of my team-mates from Brookline High School, was 
around with a brilliant j'i)^ whereby he won by 3 up and 
2 to play. It was beautiful golf for a boy (for a man 
either, as far as that goes), and the loss of the title, 
under such circumstances, left nothing for me to re- 
gret. It always has struck me that for any one who 
truly loves the game of golf, there is even a pleasure 
in being defeated when you have played first-class golf 
yourself, and have been beaten only because your op- 
ponent has played even better. It certainly was so in 
that case, and I was sorry that IMahan could not keep 
up the gait in his other matches. He was beaten by the 
eventual winner of the tournament, Arthur Knight, in 
the semi-final round. Knight winning the thirty-six- 
hole final by 2 up and i to play from R. W\ Gleason, 
later a member of the \A'illiams College team. 

From my own experience in school-boy golf, I 
should be an enthusiastic supporter of any movement 
tending to make the game a greater factor in the ath- 
letic life of school-boys, or, for that matter, in the 
colleges. I do think, however, that it should come un- 
der more direct supervision of older heads, and that 
boys should be taught not only how to play the game, 



220 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

but that they should have impressed upon them the fact 
that it is a game that demands absohite honesty. 

I have known instances where, in school-boy tourna- 
ments, scores have been returned which were surpris- 
ingly low, and there have been occasions when such 
scores, appearing in print, have brought a tinge of sus- 
picion upon the boys returning them. Such instances 
would be rare if proper methods were taken to explain 
to the boys that golf is a game which puts them strictly 
on their honor. They should be taught to realize that 
winning is not everything in the game; that a prize 
won through trickery, either in turning in a wTong 
score or moving the ball to give it a more desirable 
position, gives no lasting pleasure. Any boy winning 
a prize by such methods would in later life want to 
have it out of his sight. Every time he looked at it, 
he w^ould have a feeling of contempt for himself for 
having adopted dishonest methods. Under proper su- 
pervision, golf can be made a great agency in the 
schools for the development of character ; a game which 
will teach the boy to be honest with himself and w'ith 
others. 

As president of the Greater Boston Interscholastic 
Golf Association for one year, I naturally had an op- 
portunity to get a thorough insight into the manner of 
conducting a school-boy tournament, and I have one 
or two ideas which may be worth setting forth. One 
is that, in the qualifying round of a school-boy tourna- 
ment, every effort should be made to pair boys from 
different schools, instead of having the pairings hap- 
hazard or allowing the boys to pair up according to 
their own desires. One of the greatest advantages of 
a school-boy tournament, aside from its development of 
a boy's competitive skill, is that it brings boys from dif- 
ferent schools and districts into closer relationship; 



THE GAME I LOVE 221 

new individual friendships are formed, and a possible 
spirit of antagonism gives way to a wholesome rivalry. 
Golf being a game where there is no direct physical 
contact between the two boys, provides a happy me- 
dium for the intermingling of many boys of all ages 
and sizes, to form new acquaintances, expand old ones, 
exchange ideas, and engage in a game which has much 
more vigor to it than the average school-boy realizes. 

Probably more than one first-class golfer has been 
lost to the world of golf through a defeat administered 
to some promising player in a school-boy tournament. 
It is a singular fact (perhaps doubly so to one who has 
been so enthusiastic over the game from childhood as 
I have been) that man}^ boys become apathetic over 
the game after losing a match which they hoped, per- 
haps expected, to win; whereas if their team lost in 
base-ball or foot-ball, they would be just as eager to 
go in to win the next game on the schedule. But in 
golf, the individual alone bears the brunt of his de- 
feat; he cannot deceive himself into the idea that it 
was his neighbor, rather than himself, who was re- 
sponsible for losing. He should bear in mind that in 
golf no one is immune from defeat, and that when an 
opponent is winning a match, it is far better to study 
the methods by which he is gaining the mastery than 
to bemoan the fickleness of fate. 

In the second place, the boy who is down-hearted 
has little chance to regain lost ground, whereas by 
plodding along and doing his best, there is no knowing 
what may happen to turn the tide. To illustrate this 
point, with the hope that the reader will not think I 
am trying to exploit my own success, I shall not soon 
forget a match which I had as a school-lx)y against 
]\Ir. John G. Anderson, formerly a master in the Fes- 
senden School at West Newton, Massachusetts, and 



o > > 



THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 



runner-up for the national championship in 19 13. 

This match was an occasion when the Brookhne 
High team played a team representing Fessenden 
School. The boys of Brookline were older and larger 
than those of Fessenden, so Mr. Anderson was allowed 
to play for the latter in order to help equalize matters. 
It fell to my lot to oppose him. Of course I had not 
the slightest expectation of winning, but resolved to 
do the best I could, at any rate, and make the margin 
of my defeat as small as possible. With such a state 
of mind, my play was better than I could have dreamed 
possible. Twice during the round I holed chip shots 
from off the green, and, almost to my own consterna- 
tion as I recall it, I defeated Mr. Anderson, putting in 
two rounds of 36 over the nine-hole Albemarle course. 
I hope Mr. Anderson will forgive my telling this, if 
he happens to see the account ; my reason being to as- 
sure every boy that in golf there is always a chance 
to win, no matter how stiff the odds may seem in ad- 
vance. 

Sometimes I think that there is no better mental 
attitude, going into a match, than the one I had when 
I played that match w^th Mr. Anderson. It has 
seemed to me that the average school-boy golfer is a 
bit prone to getting himself worked into a state of 
high nervous tension thinking about his match to come 
and wondering what his chances are of winning. He 
begins to worry over the outcome hours before the 
match, and perhaps has a more or less sleepless night 
from the knowledge that in to-morrow's match he faces 
one of the fav^orites for the school-boy title. Con- 
sequently, he neither has his full mental nor physical 
equipment with him when it comes to the actual play- 
ing of the match, and the least bit of hard luck is apt 
to throw him off his stride. 



THE GAME I LOVE 223 

Now every school-boy golfer should bear in mind 
that one match does not constitute a golfing career. 
It is not possible for two to win in the same match, 
and the other boy's hopes of winning are just as strong 
as yours. Even if he wins to-day's match, there are 
many to-morrows coming, when it may be your turn 
to come out on top. Then there also is this to be 
borne in mind : the boy who defeats you in one match 
may be your opponent in a subsequent tournament, 
and, in the second instance, the result is reversed. 
Therein is double satisfaction, for if he is playing as 
well as he did in the first instance, you must be play- 
ing considerably better, and there is pleasure, also en- 
couragement, in that thought. 

A boy should learn, as one of his first lessons in golf, 
that it does not pay to get '' mad," to use that common 
expression. Bunkers are put on a golf course not to 
provoke any player's wrath, but to compel him to play 
a scientific game. If the player gets into one of these 
bunkers, it is not the bunker's fault, but his own. If 
he could only teach himself to take that point of view, 
he might almost bring himself around to the point 
where, instead of uttering some angry word over the 
situation, he would beg the bunker's pardon for having 
disturbed it. That, perhaps, may be using a millen- 
nium viewpoint, but, after all, is n't that the proper 
view to take of the matter? 

Nothing is gained by getting angered over the out- 
come of any particular shot. During my school-boy 
days, I remember playing a match once with a boy who 
might have become a good player only for his temper. 
He could not, apparently, bring himself to see that the 
more worked up he became over his bad shots, the less 
chance he had of making a good one. We were play- 
ing a match on a Boston course, and at the fourth hole 



224 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

he topped a shot into long grass, then played a poor 
second, and immediately walked over to a tree, where 
he smashed the club with which he had played the sec- 
ond shot. At the next hole, he sliced into some woods, 
failed to get out on his second, and deliberately 
smashed another good iron. Before we had played 
the home hole, he had thrown away his putter. 

How much chance had a player with that disposi- 
tion to improve his game? Furthermore, no boy 
should enter a match without realizing that his feel- 
ings are not the only ones to be considered. He has 
an opponent, and, even though the other is an oppo- 
nent, in a competitive sense, at the same time each is 
supposed to be playing the game for the enjoyment 
there is in it, and when one player gets provoked to 
a point where his temper altogether gets the better of 
him, there is not much chance for the other to gain any 
pleasure out of a round. 

The school-boy age is the most advantageous period 
for acquiring a good style of play. The muscles are 
pliant, the swing is free, and the average boy is apt 
to have a good, natural swing even without any in- 
structions. For all that, he should, if possible, seek 
a little advice from those older and better experienced 
in the game, in order not to get some bad fault in his 
swing which, as he grows older, will prove adverse to 
his game. 

Perhaps the idea may not be practicable, but I can- 
not see why it would not be possible to have a little 
elementary instruction for the pupils in the city high 
schools on the proper method of swinging the club. 
Why would it not be possible for a city to hire a golf 
professional to demonstrate, in school gymnasiums, 
the proper method of swinging the club? 



THE GAME I LOVE 225 

Faithful effort and earnest endeavor to improve 
one's game as a school-boy are apt not only to lead to 
success in the school-boy competitive ranks, but they 
pave the way to later successes on the links in a more 
general way. Moreover, beyond the high school there 
is the college, and intercollegiate golf has quite a niche 
of its own, beckoning the school-boy to enter its circle. 
Nearly every school-boy who is at all athletically in- 
clined and who has ambition to go to college would 
like to shine there in some branch of sports. He may 
not be physically endowed for foot-ball; he may lack 
the requisite qualities to make the base-ball team, the 
track team, or the rowing squad. At the same time, 
he might be a leader in golf, triumphing over men far 
his superiors in physique. 

" One thing at a time, and that done well," is a very 
good rule in golf, as in many other lines of either work 
or play. I speak of this because golf is a game in 
which the relationship between players is a bit different 
than in any other game that comes to my mind. It 
is a game which, to reap the best results, demands 
great concentration, and yet a game which, at times, 
is played wonderfully well by those who seem to be 
paying scant attention to the task in hand. The, game 
one moment brings men together and next sends them 
apart, according to the direction in which they happen 
to hit the ball; two men can start from the same tee, 
be two hundred or more yards apart after their drives, 
and both be on the same green after playing their sec- 
ond shots. It is a game which invites sociability, and 
yet does not either demand or require it. One man 
can go out and play all by himself and thoroughly en- 
joy his game, or two men can go out, play a round to- 
gether, neither speak a word between the first tee and 



226 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the last green, yet both go into the club-house and de- 
clare they had seldom or never spent a more enjoyable 
time. 

So when I talk about concentration, I do not wish 
to be misunderstood. Different people like to do 
things in different ways, and golfers differ the same 
as other people. One golfer feels that he cannot prop- 
erly enjoy a round without being able to converse with 
his partner or his opponent, while the other prefers to 
give all his attention to the play, though he may be a 
very prince of good fellows and most sociably inclined 
the moment the round is done. It is a good thing, 
therefore, for one golfer playing a round with another 
not to try to make it a sociable match, in the ordinary 
sense of the term, until he knows that such sociability 
is welcome. 

As I stated before, some golfers seem to be able to 
play at the top of their game even though they carry 
on a conversation all the way around, or allow their 
attention to be otherwise diverted from the task of 
hitting the ball right. They are to be envied. At the 
same time, I have my doubts if there is one golfer in 
a thousand who can do those things yet rise to the top 
in the game, competitively speaking. With some 
golfers it seems to be almost second nature to be able 
to play well under any and all circumstances, but even 
of those fortunate players, some might possibly get 
further than they do at the game if, when it comes to 
important matches, they would buckle down to their 
own play and erase everything else from their minds. 
I would be the last person in the world to advise a sort 
of mummified attitude at all times on the links, for the 
sociable side of the game has a strong appeal to me. 
Often I have been criticized for not paying more at- 
tention to my game and less to other things. But the 



THE GAME I LOVE 227 

more thought I give to the subject, the more am I 
convinced that, in a match which I particularly desire 
to v^in, there is no surer way of getting the desired re- 
sults than in paying attention to nothing else while the 
match is in progress. Every school-boy knows that 
it is almost impossible for him to master a lesson if he 
is allowing himself to think of half a dozen different 
things while he is trying to study. A member of a 
school nine or foot-ball eleven knows how hard it is to 
try to study on the night before an important game 
or match. Exactly the same thing is true of golf, for 
no '* man can serve two masters " and serve each 
equally well. 

These views, I think, are borne out by the records 
of different golfers who have achieved the highest 
honors. Mr. Walter J. Travis, who three times has 
been United States Amateur Champion, and who once 
won the British amateur title, which practically made 
him World's Amateur Champion, is a veritable Sphinx 
during the course of a tournament round. Doubtless 
there are a great many followers of the game who 
think he is the same on all occasions, because they have 
only seen him during these matches. I can assure 
them they are wrong. I mention Mr. Travis here be- 
cause of an incident that happened one time at the 
Essex County Club, Manchester, Massachusetts, where 
he was playing in an invitation tournament. Along 
about the fourteenth hole, Mr. Travis was approached 
by a golfer who propounded a question which, as I re- 
member, was to settle an argument that had come up 
about some point of play. Mr. Travis looked up and 
said : " I am playing golf.'* In other words, he 
wished to give his entire attention to the match. His 
record tells its own story of what concentration has 
meant to him in the line of success. 



228 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

From all I have seen of Mr. Jerome D. Travers, who 
won his fourth amateur championship of the United 
States at Garden City in September 1913, he is another 
who never, if he can help it, allows any outside influ- 
ence to affect his play during an important match. At 
the national open championship in that year at The 
Country Club, Brookline, Wilfrid Reid, of England, 
made a grand showing in the preliminary rounds, and 
during the first two rounds of the championship proper. 
During the second round of the championship proper, 
he was approached by a newspaper man who desired 
to know how he was getting along to that point. 
*' Please don't bother me," was the English profes- 
sional's rejoinder. That was all he said at the time, 
though after the round he explained that he had not 
intended to be curt, only that he never liked to be in- 
terrupted during the course of a championship round. 
I might add that after his grand play the first day, 
Reid went " all to pieces " the second, due to a little 
trouble he had the night before which preyed upon his 
mind in the last two rounds of the championship. 

Harry Vardon, I can imagine, might become so con- 
centrated in his play that he would not even hear a 
question put to him during a championship round. 
For myself, I know I have lost more than one match 
for no other reason than that I have not set about my 
task earnestly enough. It is all right to say to your- 
self that you will get right down to business toward 
tlie end of the match, but, more often than otherwise, 
it cannot be done. 

As already stated, I advise against trying to drive 
equally far with a golfer who normally gets a longer 
ball than you do. Along the same line, I again em- 
phasize the point that the quicker a golfer can develop 
a state of mind which will enable him to witness a fine 



THE GAME I LOVE 229 

shot on the part of his opponent without its having 
any adverse effect upon his own play, the more suc- 
cessful will he be. The logic of the argument is ap- 
parent. The problem is, how to develop that state of 
mind. It is natural to feel, after seeing your oppo- 
nent lay an approach dead, that there is small chance 
of doing the same, and the tendency is to go at the 
shot half-heartedly, or at least without that confidence 
which means so much in a match. The better way of 
looking at this situation is : *' My opponent is dead to 
the hole; well and good. I have everything to gain 
and nothing to lose on this shot, for if I don't get a 
good one, he wins the hole anyway, while if I do, I 
have a chance to halve, and it won't do my opponent 
any good to only halve a hole which he already thinks 
is won." 

It is a peculiar fact, and part of the psychology of 
golf, that many times when one player makes a poor 
shot, — drives out of bounds or something of the sort, 
— his opponent steps up and does the same thing. 
Especially is this true of golfers not in the first rank, 
and, I might say, it also is to be seen with unexplain- 
able frequency among the leading golfers. Possibly 
it is because the second player becomes a bit careless, 
or it may be because he tries to be too careful. At any 
rate, it does happen often. It would seem natural that 
the same thing might happen with the good shots, and 
sometimes it does, but not with anything like the same 
frequency. I presume the reason for this is that the 
rank and file of golfers are more prone to make errors, 
under stress, than they are to do something unusually 
good. 

The man, above all others, whom I admire for his 
wonderful faculty of rising to the occasion by going 
his opponent one better, usually at a critical stage, is 



230 THE BOYS* BOOK OF SPORTS 

Mr. Jerome D. Travers. It might appear that I am 
trying to find an excuse for my defeat by him in the 
national amateur championship at Garden City, in 
1 91 3, if I mention only one shot which he played on 
that occasion, and which had a decided bearing on the 
outcome. I will say, therefore, that Mr. Travers has 
a long-established reputation for doing something ex- 
traordinary at what may be termed the psychological 
moment, and what he did against me at Garden City is 
only in line with similar shots that he has pulled off in 
other matches. He is one of that type of golfers who 
always seems to have a little in reserve. There are 
times w4ien he plays inferior golf, but — he usually 
plays just enough better than his opponent to win. 
The shot that I have particularly in mind is one that 
he played at the eighth hole in the second round of our 
championship match. My second shot, pla)^ed from a 
point about 150 yards from the green, came to rest 
about eight feet from the hole. Mr. Travers, with 
possibly three or four yards less to play on his second, 
deliberated a trifle longer than usual, and then not 
only put his ball inside mine, but only three or four 
feet from the hole. I had viewed my own shot with 
intense satisfaction, and already was ** counting my 
chickens " for a 3, to win the hole. What happened 
was that he made the 3, and I took 4 ! It may be that 
had I secured the 3 and he a 4, he still would have won 
the match ; but, at the same time, the way the thing 
turned out certainly did not improve my chances. 
Hence, I would explain that it is all right to let a good 
shot influence you when it acts as a spur to doing even 
better, as it seems to with Mr. Travers! 

Another illustration of the point that frequently a 
tough situation acts as a spur to brilliant effort was a 
performance by Mr. C. E. Evans, Jr., in the qualifying 



THE GAME I LOVE 231 

round of the national amateur championship at the 
Chicago Golf-Club in 1912. Mr. H. H. Hilton, pres- 
ent British amateur champion, and at that time holder 
of the American amateur title, had completed his two 
rounds and led the field in strokes, with Mr. Evans 
needing a 4 at the home hole to tie for the lead. Mr. 
Evans was just enough off the line with his drive to 
get a lie which made it impossible for him to play 
straight for the green. After studying the situation, 
Mr. Evans decided there was just one possibility of 
getting his 4, which was to play his second shot de- 
liberately off the line, almost at right angles to it, to 
reach an open spot known as the polo field, then ap- 
proach from that open spot, and take a chance of get- 
ting near enough to go down with one putt. A fine 
shot landed him in the aforesaid polo field, which was 
upward of 100 yards off the course proper, and left 
him a long way from the green. Moreover, he found 
himself stymied by a tree. With wonderful courage 
and skill, he played his approach over the tree, and 
landed the ball on the green, though still twenty-five 
feet from the hole. The best thing about the story is 
that he holed the putt, which put him in a tie with the 
Englishman, and it was a fitting climax when he later 
defeated Mr. Hilton in the play-off for the gold medal. 
This incident only goes to prove that no situation is 
absolutely hopeless in a round of golf, a fact behind 
which there is abundance of proof. Every follower 
of the game knows, for example, that holes are done 
in one stroke an astonishing number of times. The 
best thing about such matters as holing a tee shot or 
a long approach is that it is done by poor players and 
good players alike. The golf ball is absolutely neutral 
in its likes and dislikes. Of course, I must admit that 
the farther a man can hit the ball, the more chance he 



232 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

has of doing something extraordinary in this hne, such 
as when Mr. John G. Anderson holed his tee shot at 
the old sixteenth of the Brae-Burn Country Club, West 
Newton, Massachusetts, the distance being 328 yards. 
The finish was downhill, but it took a long drive to get 
the roll. Again, there was the hole-in-one made by 
Mr. Allis in 19 13 at Homewood, the distance being 
306 yards. If the golfer would only bear such things 
as these in mind when the outlook is least promising 
in a match, perhaps the spirit of optimism would carry 
him through to a successful finish. When the outlook 
is darkest is the time when Fate may be conspiring to 
bring about the unexpected. I had a taste of that in 
the Massachusetts amateur championship of 191 3, 
played at the Wollaston Golf-Club, Montclair, ]\Ias- 
sachusetts. In the second round, my opponent was 
Mr. Ray R. Gorton. We halved the first eight holes, 
after which Mr. Gorton won the ninth, eleventh, and 
twelfth. I had to get past a half -stymie to hole the 
putt for a half at the thirteenth; at the fourteenth, he 
was on the green in two shots, while in a like number 
I was above the green, on an embankment, and had to 
pitch down with my niblick and go down in one putt, 
for a half, which left me three down, with four to 
play. The fifteenth I won with a 3, and the sixteenth 
with a 2, as here I needed only one putt. We halved 
the seventeenth, and at the home hole it looked to be 
all over when Mr. Gorton had only to hole a putt of 
less than a yard to halve the hole and win the match. 
There are times when a short putt holed is worth far 
more than the longest drive ever recorded, and this 
was one of them. Mr. Gorton missed his putt, the 
match was squared, and I won the first extra. After 
that I went through and won the championship. It is 
by such things that championships are won and lost. 



THE GAME I LOVE 233 

Mr. Evans's inability to putt well at Garden City 
against Mr. Anderson, in the 191 3 amateur champion- 
ship, was the chief factor in his defeat. These short 
putts sometimes are missed by carelessness. The 
moral is obvious. 

\\'hile carelessness is a bad feature for any golfer to 
allow to creep into his game, it must not be confused 
with unnecessarily prolonged deliberation over shots. 
Too much time in studying shots before playing them 
is, to my mind, worse than not enough. In other 
words, neither procrastination nor hurrying will bring" 
satisfactory results; but as between the two, undue de- 
liberation is worse because it is in the nature of an im- 
position upon other players. Golf has become so pop- 
ular a game that the number of players has increased 
by leaps and bounds, hence a great many clubs have 
an active playing membership so large that it is a prob- 
lem how to accommodate all who wish to play, es- 
pecially on Saturdays and holidays. An unnecessarily 
slow player can hold back a field and cause more fuming 
and hard feelings than almost any other factor in 
play. The same thing applies in open tournaments or 
championships. Admittedly there are some golfers 
who are so constituted that they have to go at their 
play deliberately to do well, but they ought to realize 
that fact, and, when they see that they are holding 
others back, courteously let those following " go 
through." 

But a great many players who are abnormally de- 
liberate might find, by experiment, that they could play 
just as well, if not better, by speeding up a bit. When 
a golfer spends overmuch time in studying the line of 
his putt, for example, first viewing it from one side of 
the hole and then from the other, only to go back and 
have another look from the first side, he is apt to see 



234 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

undulations or bumps which really would have no in- 
fluence over the ball's course if utterly disregarded. 
The imagination gets too much play and the mind has 
too much time for working up hesitancy and breeding 
lack of confidence. The best putters, as a rule, size 
up the situation quickly, then step up and hit the ball. 

In all these suggestions, let me explain, I do not wish 
to give the impression that it is wise to putt or play an- 
other shot without sizing up the situation, or to hurry 
the shots. But the more one practises the art of tak- 
ing in the layout quickly, and reaching a speedy de- 
cision as to the club to be used and what has to be 
done, the more does it become a sort of second nature. 
The professionals, as a rule, waste little time in the 
preliminaries for their shots. Naturally, the rejoinder 
might be that it is a part of their stock in trade to 
reach speedy decisions ; yet I do not doubt that a great 
many amateurs would find their play surely no worse 
if they, too, spent less time over the preliminaries. 

Every golfer, I realize, has his own problems to 
work out, and when I preach the doctrine of sizing up 
situations quickly, I do not for one moment mean to 
say positively that every player can step up to his ball, 
know immediately what club to use, and play his shot 
without further deliberation. Some players I am cer- 
tain can steady themselves with two or three practice 
swings, and some benefit from giving the line of putt 
deep study. But I firmly believe there are many others 
who do these things merely from habit or from imita- 
tion. 

In the matter of trying to imitate the style and 
methods of players who have made their mark in golf, 
discretion must be used. Many golfers would never 
amount to much as drivers if they followed, exactly, 
the style of J. J. McDermott, the brilliant Atlantic City 



THE GAME I LOVE 235 

professional and former national open title-holder. 
They might devote a great deal of time and effort trying 
to master his long, flat swing, only to find in the long 
run either that they could not hit the ball on the nose, 
so to speak, or else that they could not hit it accurately. 
On the other hand, they might choose to fashion their 
style after that of Alex Smith, also a former national 
open champion, whose comparatively short swing has 
an added attraction from the very fact that it looks so 
simple. Yet they might fail to take into account the 
exceedingly powerful forearm that the Wykagyl pro- 
fessional has, and which makes it possible for him to 
get a power into the short stroke which few could hope 
to duplicate. 

Different pla3''ers have their individual peculiarities, 
and the more a new-comer in the golfing ranks watches 
the leading exponents of the game, the more readily 
he recognizes these peculiarities, and abstains from in- 
corporating them in his own game. For my own part, 
in my earlier experiences at golf, I took particular 
pains to watch such players as Mr. John G. Anderson, 
Mr. Arthur G. Lockwood, and other Massachusetts 
amateurs who had achieved distinction on the links, 
before I ever thought of being able to compete with 
them on even terms. I noticed that Mr. Anderson had 
a habit of sort of gathering himself together and rising 
on his toes during his upswing. As he hits a powerful 
blow, I deduced that this rising on the toes and then 
coming dow^n with the downAvard swing, had a good 
deal to do with the results achieved, so I experimented 
a little on that line The experiment with me was not 
a success. The secret of Mr. Anderson*s success and 
my failure, of course, is that he rises on his toes and 
descends all in perfect rhythm with his stroke, and I 
do not. The upward and downward movement of the 



236 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

body in my case throws me off my timing of the shot. 
It did not take me long to discover that, whatever ad- 
vantage Mr. Anderson might derive from that pecuHar- 
ity, it would not do at all for me. 

It is a great pleasure for me to watch a player like 
Charles E. (" Chick ") Evans, Jr., of Chicago, a former 
interscholastic champion, who, for half a dozen years 
or so, has been rated among the leaders of amateur 
golf in the United States, and who, perhaps, would 
have been national amateur champion long before he 
won both titles in 19 16, if he could putt with as 
much success as he can play other shots. His style 
is so easy and graceful, that to watch him is to get 
the impression that golf is an easy game to mas- 
ter. Watching him, and a number of others I might 
name, shows in a striking way the difference be- 
tween the good player and the bad. One goes about 
his task laboriously, in a sort of I-pray-I-hit-it attitude ; 
the other steps up to the ball with a confidence born of 
success, as if to hit the ball in the middle were just a 
perfunctory matter, after all. Confidence is half the 
battle, anyway, though over-confidence is the worst 
enemy a golfer ever had. Doubtless that is true of 
most games. 

Mr. Frederick Herreshoff, runner-up to Mr. H. H. 
Hilton for the national amateur championship in 191 1, 
is another golfer whom I like to see in action, particu- 
larly when he is having one of his good days with 
wooden clubs. Edward Ray, I know, is rated as a 
wonderful driver, and I have seen him hit some long 
ones; I have seen others who are renowned for the 
long hitting, but I have yet to see another wooden 
shot which, to my mind comes up to one that I saw 
Mr. Herreshoff make at The Country Club, Brookline, 
Massachusetts, in the National Amateur championship 



THE GAME I LOVE 237 

tournament of 1910. The ninth hole, as then played, 
I think was about 500 yards in length. Mr. Herre- 
shoff made so long a drive that he used a jigger for his 
second shot, despite the fact that the putting-green is 
on an elevation considerably above the point from 
which he played his second shot. The jigger, I will 
explain for those who do not know its uses, is a club for 
shots a little too long for the mashy, and, at the same 
time, requiring a little loft to the ball. In the hands 
of a golfer like Mr. Herreshoff, I suppose it is good, 
ordinarily, for 165 yards. The disappointing thing 
in this instance was that, after his remarkable drive, 
Mr. Herreshoff was a wee bit off the line with his 
second shot, and not quite far enough, so that his ball 
went into a trap to the right of, and just below, the 
green. 

Mr. Herreshoff is one of those players who get 
their wrists into shots in a most effective manner. 

For my own part, I never have tried to achieve dis- 
tinction as a long hitter. To be successful in open com- 
petition, a golfer necessarily must be able to hold his 
own fairly well in the matter of distance; but I have 
found it possible to do this to a reasonable degree by 
trying to cultivate a smooth stroke and timing it well. 
Being of good height, almost six feet, and having a 
moderately full swing, my club gets a good sweep in 
its course toward the ball, so that the point I strive for 
is to have the club head moving at its maximum of 
speed at the moment of impact with the ball. I know 
I could get greater distance than I do ordinarily, for 
now and then I do try to hit as hard and as far as I 
can, with additional yards resulting. These efforts, 
however, are made when there is nothing at stake, and 
are merely a bit of experimenting. To make such 
extra efforts the rule, rather than the exception, would 



238 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

be the old story of sacrificing accuracy for distance. 
The minute a golfer begins doing that in competition 
he is " lost," or such is my belief. 

The 19 10 Amateur championship at The Country 
Club, Brooklir.e, where I saw Mr. Herreshoff make the 
drive above mentioned, was the first national event I 
ever entered, my age at the time being seventeen years. 
I did not qualify, but my failure did not make me feel 
very badly, considering all the circumstances. My 
total of 169 in the qualifying rounds was only one 
stroke worse than the top c[ualifying figure; and among 
those who, like myself, failed to get in the match play 
were such noted golfers as Mr. Robert A. Gardner, 
then the national amateur champion, and Mr. H. 
Chandler Egan, a former champion. 

Furthermore, I played under circumstances that were 
a handicap in themselves. The championship field was 
inordinately large, and I was among the late starters 
for the first round, getting away from the first tee at 
2 :44 o'clock in the afternoon. This would have been 
ample time to get around before dark, had it not been 
for an extraordinary congestion at the third tee. Some 
one of the earlier starters was exceedingly slow, not to 
mention the time taken to search for a ball, and other 
little things that helped to cause delay and hold the 
players back. When my partner and I arrived at the 
third tee, there were ten pairs then w^aiting for an op- 
portunity to play that hole, and there was nothing to 
do but wait. An hour and ten minutes of waiting at 
one tee in a championship is not conducive to best 
efforts ; at any rate, it w^as not in my case. 

While w^aiting at this tee, I remember having watched 
Mr. W. C. Chick take eight for the sixth hole, and, 
while mentally sympathizing with him, I did not dream 
that I would get a similar figure for my own card, when 



THE GAME I LOVE 239 

I finally did play the third hole, for I had started most 
satisfactorily with four for the first hole, and the same 
figure for the second. When it came my turn to drive 
from the third tee, I drove into a trap, lost a stroke 
getting out, put my third in the v^oods, was back on the 
fair green in four, on the green in five, and then took 
three putts for an eight. But from that point, I was 
forty-four strokes for the first nine holes. By this 
time, the afternoon was pretty well gone, and my part- 
ner and I had to stop playing at the fourteenth, because 
of darkness. As my card showed even fours for the 
first five holes of the inward half, I was beginning to 
feel better, and had I been able to complete the round 
that day, I think I might have been around in seventy- 
nine or eighty. 

Along with several other pairs who were caught in 
the same dilemma, I had to go out the following morn- 
ing to play the remaining four holes, and the best I 
could get for them was a total of nineteen strokes, 
w^hereas I would do those same holes ordinarily in six- 
teen strokes, at most. My score of eighty-three for 
the first round was not bad, however, and a similar 
round the second day would have put me in the match 
play. 

But I had made one serious mistake, as I learned in 
the course of the second round. My supposition had 
been that, after playing the last four holes of the first 
round on the morning of the second day, I would have 
ample time to go home to breakfast and then return 
for the second round, my home being in close proximity 
to the grounds. What actually happened was that, 
after completing the four holes of the first round, I was 
told to report immediately at the first tee for my second 
round, in which I was to have the pleasure of being 
partnered by Mr. Robert C. Watson, later president 



240 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

of the United States Golf Association. For the first 
nine holes I had reason to feel satisfied, doing them in 
forty-one strokes, with every prospect of doing even 
better in the scoring for the last nine, which are less dif- 
ficult. But by this time the pangs of hunger had taken 
a firm hold, and I could feel myself weakening physic- 
ally, which was the result both of my failure to get 
breakfast, and the strain of a week of hard practising. 
The consequence was that I made a poor finish, took 
forty-five for the last nine, eighty-six for the round, and 
had one hundred and sixty-nine for my thirty-six hole 
total, or just out of the match-play running. The 
moral is, to be properly prepared for competition. 

About that " week of hard practising " I would like 
to add a little. My experiences of practising for the 
championship of 19 lo taught me a good lesson, which 
is, that practising may easily be overdone. My idea 
of practising for that event was to get in at least thirty- 
six holes a day for the week prior to the championship. 
This Was based partly on the idea that, with so much 
play, the game could be brought to such a point of me- 
chanical precision that it would be second nature to hit 
the ball properly. The thought of " going stale " from 
so much play never occurred to me. Probably one rea- 
son was that I never had had a feeling of physical stale- 
ness in any sport up to that time. I always had been 
keen for golf, from the time of becoming interested in 
the game, and could not imagine a state of feeling 
that would mean even the slightest repugnance for 
play. 

That is, perhaps, an error natural to youth and in- 
experience. It was not for me to know that a growing 
youth of seventeen years is not likely to have such a 
robust constitution that he can stand thirty-six holes of 
golf a day for a week, not to mention fairly steady play 



THE GAME I LOVE 241 

for weeks in advance of that, and still be on edge for 
a championship tournament. 

It really was not only the Saturday previous to the 
championship (which began Monday) that I knew this 
feeling of staleness. It did not come on all at once, by 
anv means, and I did not realize even then what w^as the 
trouble, for on the day that I first noticed that I was 
not so keen for play as usual, I made a particularly good 
score. That day I was playing in company with Mr. 
H. H. Wilder, Mr. R. R. Freeman, and Mr. W. R. 
Tuckerman. This round was more or less of a tryout 
for places on the Massachusetts State team, and I was 
fortunate enough to get in the best round, a seventy- 
six. Incidentally, I might add that this performance 
did not land me the coveted place on the State team, for 
Mr. Tuckerman reached the semi-finals of the cham- 
pionship the succeeding week, which gave him prece- 
dence. That year I did play one match for the State 
team, however. It was in the match against Rhode 
Island, when the Massachusetts team found itself one 
man shy on the day set for play, which also was at The 
Country Club. Somebody discovered that I was in the 
vicinity, looked me up, and I played with a set of bor- 
rowed clubs — also won my match. 

To revert to the physical strain of too much practice, 
I found that on Saturday of the practice week my hands 
were sore, and that I was playing with unwonted effort, 
though not getting any better results than when hitting 
the ball with normal ease. It was my first lesson in 
the knowledge that when the game becomes a task, 
rather than a pleasure, something is wTong physically. 

My advice to any golfer preparing for a champion- 
ship is, therefore, not to overdo the practice end. To 
my mind, the wise thing is to play thirty-six holes a day 
for perhaps two days a week in advance of the cham- 



242 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

pionship. Then spend a morning in practising shots 
with the irons, the mashy, and putting, followed by a 
round of the course in the afternoon. This might be 
done for two or three days, with special attention given 
to the club which perhaps is not getting satisfactory re- 
sults. One round of golf, without special exertion, the 
day before the tournament, after such a program, ought 
to put the player in good shape for the real competition. 
As for the superstition of some golfers that a particu- 
larly fine round in practice means so much less chance 
of duplicating it in tournament play, I hold a different 
view, which is, that an especially good round gives an 
inspiration to equal it when the real test comes. I al- 
ways feel after such a round that, if I can do it once, 
there is no reason why I cannot again. 

Elimination from the championship, in the Cjualify- 
ing round, had its compensations. It gave me the op- 
portunity to watch the championship play for the re- 
mainder of the week, to see in action those golfers of 
whom I had heard so much. That in itself was a 
treat. Some of the matches, moreover, gave me some 
new ideas about golf as played in competition by men in 
the foremost ranks. For one thing, it was rather start- 
ling, if such a word can apply, to see a golfer like Mr. 
Herreshoff literally " swamped " in his match with Mr. 
Evans. Mr. Herreshoff had made the lowest score of 
the entire field in the qualifying round, yet here was the 
same man unable to put up anything but the most feeble 
opposition to the young Chicago golfer. Such a match 
only goes to show that the best of golfers occasionally 
have their bad days, days on which they find it seem- 
ingly impossible to play satisfactorily. That is a good 
thing to bear in mind — no match is lost before it is 
played. When a golfer possessed of such ability as has 
Mr. Herreshoff can be defeated eleven up and nine to 



THE GAME I LOVE Mi 

play, it simply shows that golf is a game of uncertain- 
ties, after all ; that, in fact, is one of its great charms. 

In that same championship, the uncertainties of the 
game were shown in another match, and again Mr. 
Evans was one of the factors, though this time on the 
losing side. He had been playing in form which made 
him a distinctive favorite for the title, and, in the semi- 
final round, he came to the sixteenth hole two up on Mr. 
W. C. Fownes, Jr., of Pittsburgh. The sixteenth is a 
short hole, just a mashy pitch. Mr. Evans reached the 
edge of the green with his tee shot, whereas Mr. Fownes 
made a poor effort, and put his ball in a sand-trap. 

The match appeared to be over, then and there. But 
a match in golf never is over until one player has a 
lead of more holes than there are holes to play, a fact 
which was demonstrated anew in this match. Mr. 
Fownes played out of the trap, and holed a long putt for 
a three, while Mr. Evans, using his mid-iron instead 
of his putter from the edge of the green, was well past 
the hole on his second shot, and failed to get the putt 
coming back. Hence, instead of winning the hole and 
the match, as he seemed bound to do, he lost the hole. 
Then, as so often happens when a man apparently has a 
match absolutely in hand and loses an opening to clinch 
it, Mr. Evans lost the seventeenth, likewise the home 
hole, and, with the loss of the eighteenth, he also lost 
the match. Instead of winning the match and the 
championship, as nearly everybody figured he would, he 
only got to the semi-finals. It is true that Mr. Fownes 
made a wonderful recovery at the sixteenth, to get his 
three ; he played a remarkable shot at the seventeenth, 
too; but a man is apt to do that after recovering from 
an almost hopeless situation. 

It was in that championship that I was astonished to 
see such a great golfer as Mr. Evans using his mid-iron 



246 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

instead of his putter most of the time on the greens. 
He was then following the same practice that was true 
of his play in the middle west, notwithstanding that the 
putter is a much superior club for greens such as are 
found at The Country Club. He could not be ex- 
pected, of course, to come east and learn to get the best 
results from the putter in such a short time as he had 
for practice. 

To see him use the mid-iron on the greens, and then 
practically lose his semi-final round match, and possibly 
the title, because he could not lay a mid-iron approach- 
putt dead at the sixteenth, helped me to form one resolu- 
tion for which I since have been thankful. That was to 
use my putter from any point on the green, provided 
there was no special reason for doing otherwise. Of 
course, there are circumstances when the mid-iron is 
better for an approach-putt than the putter, as, for ex- 
ample, when there is a little piece of dirt on or in front 
of the ball, casual w^ater, or uneven surface to go over. 
But under normal conditions, nowadays, I would rather 
use my putter and take three putts, than take a mid-iron 
or another club. By adhering to that policy, I think I 
have gained more confidence in my putting, and confi- 
dence is a wonderful asset in this branch of the game. 

Watching the good players in that championship 
gave me one distinct ambition, which was to try to 
steady my game down to a point where I would not 
play four holes well, say, and then have two or three 
poor ones before getting another three- or four-hole 
streak of satisfactory play. The steadily good game is 
better than the combination of brilliant and erratic. It 
is something like the hare and the tortoise. 

Eating, drinking, and sleeping doubtless play an im- 
portant part in golf, more particularly competitive golf. 
And when I speak of drinking, I do not mean in the 



THE GAME I LOVE 247 

alcoholic sense. It would be presumptuous in a person 
of my years to make so bold as to present a regular 
formula on the correct hour for retiring the night be- 
fore a match, the amount and character of food to be 
consumed, and how many swallows of water should be 
taken at meals or between meals. But without attempt- 
ing to dictate to any one else, I can say this much from 
my own experiences : that there is nothing more truly 
beneficial than the early-to-bed habit just before and 
during a tournament in which the golfer wishes to do 
well. Although I never have made a scientific study of 
the matter, I am perfectly willing to accept as thor- 
oughly reliable the theory that every hour of sleep be- 
fore midnight is worth two after it. 

No doubt the sleep problem is one which differs ac- 
cording to different ages and temperaments. I realize 
that there are golfers, both young and old, of nervous, 
excitable dispositions who would find it impossible to 
retire early the night before an important golf match 
and to be speedily wrapped in slumber. Possibly there 
are individual cases in which early retirement would 
mean just a constant turning and tossing due to ab- 
normal mental activities in thinking about the match of 
the forthcoming day. In such instances, it might be 
better for the golfer to be up late and at some occupa- 
tion so physically tiring that the demands of the body 
would lull the activities of the mind. 

Hence, when I preach the early-to-bed doctrine, I do 
so for the rank and file of golfers, especially the younger 
players, who, in the first place, ought to try to school 
themselves not to feel that success in a match is the do- 
all and end-all of life. If the game is played for its 
own sake, rather than for the pleasure derived from 
winning matches or prizes, the sleep problem ought not 
to be particularly bothersome. 



248 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

And a good night's sleep is an undeniable asset in a 
hard match. It not only rests the body and stores up 
vigor, but it clears the eye and makes the ball look just 
that much larger and easier to hit. I have not the least 
doubt that that was one of the factors which played an 
important part in my victory over Vardon and Ray at 
Brookline in the national open championship in 19 13. 
Many of my friends asked me, that morning of the 
play-off, how I had slept. I answered them truthfully 
that I had had a good night's sleep. No doubt some of 
them thought I was saying that as a matter of course, 
while they inwardly doubted the veracity of my answer. 
Frequently since that play-off, friends have put the 
same question, and they have seemed surprised to think 
that I could sleep at all soundly when realizing that so 
much was at stake. 

Perhaps I am more than ordinarily blessed with 
phlegmatic tendencies ; at the same time, I am inclined 
to think that one reason why I managed to get in a good 
night's sleep was that, from the moment of tying with 
Vardon and Ray for the championship, I made up my 
mind that in the play-off I was going out simply with 
the determination to play my own game to the best of 
my ability ; that there was nothing more I could do, and 
that was all there was to it. If I won, I won ; and if I 
lost, I lost. No one could do more, so why lose sleep 
over it? 

The night before the play-off I remember well. I 
retired at nine o'clock, as I had been doing all through 
the championship week. My sister was playing the 
piano down-stairs, and some member of the family, 
fearing that I would be disturbed, shut the door of the 
room where it was. I am extremely fond of music, 
and just then the thought of not hearing it was more in 
my mind than what would happen on the links the next 



THE GAME I LOVE 249 

day, so I went softly down-stairs to open the door again. 
How long I listened to the music after that, I have not 
the least idea, for in the midst of it I went to sleep. 
Perhaps somebody will be inclined to remark sarcas- 
tically, '' He must be fond of music, when it puts him 
to sleep ! " But it must be remembered that I had had 
a rather strenuous thirty-six holes of golf, with an 
exciting wind-up, and I was well ready for sleep any- 
how. 

It is logical, to say the least, to assume that a clear 
eye and a well-rested body are assets in golf. That 
there are men who play winning golf after a night of 
little sleep and other factors hardly conducive to clear 
vision is undeniable, yet the other doctrine is the one I 
would preach. For myself, I know by experience that 
my golf suffers when my eyes are not feeling right. 
One day in the autumn of 19 13, sometime after the na- 
tional open championship, I visited the Merrimac Val- 
ley Country Club, near Lawrence, Massachusetts, after 
having attended, the previous night, the annual meeting 
and dinner of the Woodland Golf Club, of which I am 
a member. As the evening advanced, the room became 
thick with cigar and cigarette smoke, and, as it w^as such 
a delightful occasion, the hour of departure was late. 
The consequence was that it was after midnight before 
I retired. 

My eyes felt heavy the next morning, and remained 
so when I played at Merrimac Valley, with the result 
that, while I felt all right physically, there is no doubt 
in my mind that my eyes were not doing their work 
properly. Almost invariably I was hitting too far in 
back of the ball, but why I could not fathom. Finally, 
after playing about fourteen holes in a fashion which 
must have caused the spectators to wonder how I ever 
could have won a championship, or even qualified, it 



250 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

struck nie that the trouble must be with my eyes. I 
began to think that perhaps the two were not in proper 
focus. At any rate, I tried the experiment of hitting at 
a spot a Httle beyond the point where I would normally, 
and then I had better success. 

Since then, I have given the matter occasional 
thought, and have wondered if it is not possible that 
there are times when one eye may be tired and the other 
not, so that they do not work in unison. It also has 
struck me that there may be a great many golfers who 
play with ill success for no other reason than that they 
have some little defect of vision which may not affect 
them in ordinary work, but which is just enough to 
handicap them in golf. People have glasses for close 
work and for distance, but may it not be possible that 
neither is exactly suited for getting the best results in 
hitting at a little ball which is neither near nor far from 
their center of vision ? Some oculist-golfer may be able 
to give the answer. I put the question entirely from a 
layman's unscientific viewpoint. 

In the matter of eating, a great deal of discretion may 
be used. As a general principle, I would advise against 
hearty meals just before playing, and especially at 
luncheon between morning and afternoon rounds. It 
may readily be imagined that a man is apt to develop 
a vigorous appetite during the course of a morning 
round on a long and exacting course, despite the im- 
pression among those who do not play the game that it 
is a lazy sort of pastime, anyway, just hitting the ball 
and walking after it. I can assure them that, in my 
own case, a round of golf is a sterling appetizer. To 
satisfy this hunger completely is to invite defeat, for 
it is apt to bring on a logy, indolent state, or to mitigate 
against the player getting " down to the ball " on his 



THE GAME I LOVE 251 

shots. I could cite specific instances in which I am con- 
vinced the better golfer lost a match mainly because of 
the ill-advised indulgence of his appetite. 

On this particular point I can look back with a great 
deal of amusement to a match which I played a few 
years ago in the Massachusetts amateur championship. 
My prospective opponent and I, after having won our 
morning matches, went into the club-house dining-room 
to get our luncheons, and as it so happened, we sat 
opposite each other. This, of course, meant that each 
could see what the other ate. Evidently he felt as 
hungry as I did, and we both sat down to some extra- 
generous portions of lamb-chops, together with pota- 
toes and one or two other side-dishes. I can just re- 
member that the combination served that day was 
hearty, to say the least. After having finished the 
regular course, I asked for a glass of milk, while my 
opponent of the afternoon inquired what there was for 
dessert. He was informed that there were strawberry 
shortcake and apple-pie. 

1 could see that that strawberry shortcake was a 
temptation to him; it was to me, though probably in 
lesser degree. At the same time, I could see that, much 
as he wanted a piece of it, he could not quite make up 
his mind that it would be the part of wisdom to eat it. 
Finally, I sang out : " Go ahead and get a piece of it ; 
if you eat it, I w^ill, too." He ordered his piece of 
strawberry shortcake, and so did I, and we both ate it 
with a great deal of relish. The consequence of our 
indulgence, however, was that we both went out for our 
afternoon match with our stomachs rebelling at such 
vigorous exercise after such a feast, and it took us about 
eight or nine holes to really get going. Fortunately 
for each of us, the superabundance of food was about 



252 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

an equal handicap. The thing does not always turn 
out that way, however, so it is a good point to keep a 
proper curb on the appetite between rounds. 

While on the subject of food, I might mention that 
I have known of instances where golfers have had their 
play and food-stuffs intermingled entirely without their 
previous knowledge or consent. There was the case of 
a man playing at Kendall Green, Weston, Massachu- 
setts, who hit a ball which entered the pantry window of 
a building and was found lodged in a custard-pie. I 
never ascertained whether the owner of the ball played 
the shot from where the ball lay, or whether he discon- 
tinued his game temporarily, long enough to eat the pie. 
The other incident I have in mind was when I was play- 
ing off a gross score tie with Mr. P. W. Whittemore, at 
the Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts, and Mr. 
Whittemore hooked his tee shot to the tenth hole to a 
spot which interfered seriously with a family of bees. 
Whether Mr. Whittemore likes honey, I do not know ; 
but I do know^ that for a while he w-as the center of at- 
traction for the entire colony of honey-makers, and 
that, before the end of the round, one of his wrists was 
nearly double its normal size. 

Now as to drinking, meaning the drinking of such a 
temperate beverage as water. It may sound almost 
silly to say that a drink of water during the course of a 
round might be the cause of losing a match. Yet I am 
w'illing to go on record as making the statement. The 
thought might never have occurred to me were it not 
for an incident in my match w'ith Mr. Travers in the 
National Amateur championship at Garden City in 
1913. Just before driving from the sixth tee in that 
match, I went to the water fountain adjoining and took 
a refreshing drink. The next thing that happened was 
that I made an inglorious top of my drive. Mr. Gil- 



THE GAME I LOVE 253 

man Tiffany, who was acting as caddy for Mr. Travers, 
in true sportsmanlike spirit volunteered me the informa- 
tion then and there that it w^as not wise to drink just 
before driving, for the reason that it had a temporary 
bad effect upon one of the nerves. At the same time, 
there flashed into my mind, curiously enough, an expe- 
rience exactly similar which I had had in a previous 
interscholastic match at the Woodland Golf Club. 
Since then I have heard the same opinion expressed by 
one or two other golfers who not only play the game 
well, but who do so with an analytical mind for causes 
and effects. 

Physical condition is not generally looked upon as so 
important a factor in golf as in a great many other 
games, but a majority of those w^ho take such a view- 
point do not really know how much it does amount to. 
There is a tremendous physical strain, as well as the 
mental, in going through a National Amateur cham- 
pionship, for example, for it means thirty-six holes of 
golf a day for six successive days, and that coming 
after the practice. To swing a golf -club once or twice 
is not much of a task, and to walk around a golf course 
once is not much of a strain, but w^hen it comes to walk- 
ing around seven to eight miles over a golf course each 
day, and to playing under all sorts of conditions, not 
only of the course but of the weather, to putting forth 
the effort that it requires to get a ball out of the long 
grass or out of a bunker, the average competitor finds 
that at the end of several such days he is glad enough 
of a rest. Hence there can be shown wisdom not only 
in the matter of food but in exercise. 

Championships sometimes are decided as much on 
physical condition and stamina as they are on skill. 
There are golfers who, in their advancing years, can 
still play their shots with the same skill as in their 



254 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

younger days, but when it comes to several successive 
rounds of competitive play, they tire ; the shots do not 
come off in the same old way, because there is not the 
same vigor in the stroke, and the timing begins to suf- 
fer. The National Amateur championship of 1909, 
played at the Chicago Golf Club, \\'heaton, Illinois, was 
decided largely upon the physical condition of one of 
the contestants in the final round, or such was the 
opinion of many who watched the play all that week. 
In the final round were Mr. H. Chandler Egan, a for- 
mer national title-holder, and Mr. Robert A. Gardner, 
then a young student. All through the earlier rounds, 
Mr. Egan had been playing wonderful golf. On the 
day before the final round, I think it was, he ate a piece 
of apple-pie that made him really quite ill. He had not 
recovered on the morning of the final, when he had to 
play a championship match. That he went out and 
gave Mr. Gardner a hard tussle for the title spoke well 
for his courage and fortitude. Perhaps he would not 
have won the title in any event, for Mr. Gardner played 
a fine game that day, but from the quality of Mr. 
Egan's game earlier in the week, it is a moral certainty 
that had he been in tiptop physical shape, he would have 
made the finish closer than it was, Mr. Gardner win- 
ning by 4 and 3. 

I have spoken of the task of walking so many times 
around a golf course and conditions of wind and 
weather. Along with these topics there may appro- 
priately be said something about the wearing apparel. 
In the amateur championship at Chicago in 191 2, Mr. 
Norman F. Hunter of England had to drop out of the 
play in his match against Mr. Warren K. Wood, being 
overcome by the heat. He wore a coat, as is the Eng- 
lish golfer's custom. As to whether golfers should 
wear coats on the links, I have no opinion, except that 



THE GAME I LOVE 255 

I believe in being comfortable. Some golfers like to 
play in a coat, jersey, or sweater, because they like to 
have something snug to keep their shoulders in place, 
while others like to discard them for just the opposite 
reason, — that they like to get a free stroke. These are 
points which the golfer works out to his own satisfac- 
tion. In the matter of apparel, the main thing, as I 
have said, is to be comfortable. 

The question of footwear is another on which indi- 
viduals differ. Some prefer always to play in leather 
shoes with hobnails on the soles, whereas many prefer 
sneakers, and some the rubber-soled leather shoes. I 
like the sneakers, when conditions are normal, for I 
find the walking easier, and the sneakers seem to give 
more freedom. At the same time, it is an unwise thing 
to play an important match without having a pair of 
hobnail shoes handy in case of rain. When the ground 
is wet and slippery, the sneakers of rubber-soled shoes 
give precarious footing. I remember playing at The 
Country Club, Brookline, one time, when a thunder- 
shower came up, and I was playing in sneakers. At the 
long ninth hole, my ball rested on a piece of ground well 
bestrewn with clover leaves. These are particularly 
slippery after a rain, and when I made my swing, I 
swung myself completely off my feet, and went down 
flat. 

Many a school-boy in scoffing at golf as a namby- 
pamby game, not to be mentioned in the same breath 
with foot-ball, track-athletics, base-ball, and other 
sports of their ilk, does not stop to think of the more 
lasting benefits which he might derive from the game 
he derides. Of its joys he knows nothing, never having 
experienced them ; he looks upon golf with a vague sort 
of feeling that some day, when he is getting along in 
years, he may take up the game to be " in the fashion." 



256 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Meantime, something more vigorous for him in the 
athletic Hne! 

Fortunately for themselves, as I look at the matter, 
there are a great many boys who form an unalterable 
attachment for golf, and whose identification with the 
game as school-boys is only the forerunner of years of 
pleasure on the links. To continue their play after 
school-days, naturally they either have to join a club or 
to have their rounds on a public course. Regarding 
the latter, there is not the slightest doubt in my mind 
that public courses have played an important part in 
the development of the game in America, both among 
the young and the older players. Scores of boys who 
have enjoyed golf w^hile in school have not been in a 
position, financially, to join a golf or country club im- 
mediately after their school-days are over, yet have con- 
tinued their play by making use of such links as the 
Franklin Park course, in Boston, Van Cortlandt Park, 
in New York, and Jackson Park, in Chicago. 

The average school-boy golfer becomes ambitious to 
join a golf or country club from the time that he takes 
part in an interscholastic tournament. He sees the 
members come in, go to their regularly assigned locker, 
sit down to a luncheon for which they merely sign a slip 
of paper, and do other things with an air of proprietor- 
ship that has a certain fascination. The school-boy 
golfer, too, would be a member and enjoy all these privi- 
leges. Fie would like to rub elbows with men of promi- 
nence in the community, — for in the golf and country 
clubs are to be found '' big " men, men of influence in 
the city, the State, or the country at large. 

Any youth who joins a golf or country club and who 
lays too much stress upon the privilege of merely sign- 
ing checks for luncheons and such things, is apt to get 
a bit of a shock when those checks, like chickens, '* come 



THE GAME I LOVE 257 

home to roost." They all have to be paid, sooner or 
later, so, if he is a golfer in moderate financial circum- 
stances, he had better not be overgenerous with either 
himself or his friends in the early stages of his club 
life. This may sound a little like preaching, yet it is 
a fact that club life sometimes has an unfortunate in- 
fluence upon a young man, especially if he gets started 
in the wrong way. 

On the other hand, for the young golfer who is will- 
ing to hold a modest place in the club, there are a host 
of advantages. There is no denying that in golf he 
does have the opportunity to mingle with the finest class 
of people, intellectually and socially, and, if he is prop- 
erly observing and discreetly curious, he can learn a 
great deal in several directions, and in particular many 
things w^hicli will improve his game of golf. 

Doubtless it is true that one reason why the general 
standard of play in this country is not higher is that 
devotees of the game are so keen for playing them- 
selves that they are not willing to put in a little more 
time in following and observing the methods of the 
better golfers. We know that on the other side of the 
Atlantic it is nothing unusual for even such great pro- 
fessionals as Vardon, Ray, Braid, and Taylor to spend 
some of their time watching each other play. George 
Duncan, perhaps the most brilliant golfer in the world 
in 19 14, says unrestrictedly that his game is a com- 
posite of the styles of such players as those named 
above. Therein is his own confession that what he is 
as a golfer is largely the result of watching the play 
of the masters. 

I can advance no stronger argument for driving 
home the idea that it pays to study the strokes of good 
players as well as to practise to perfect our own. And 
I think I am absolutely correct in saying that any 



258 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

young golfer who is ambitious to learn will always 
find good golfers ready to give him the benefit of their 
experience and observations. Right here is one of the 
greatest features of the game. The finest players, 
professionals or amateurs, are forever trying to learn 
new points, and they rarely hesitate to divulge any 
point in connection with their own game. In other 
words, while there may be keen individual rivalries 
among the golfers, the greatest rivals may frequently 
be seen comparing notes on the best method for play- 
ing different shots. 

There are many things for the young player to learn, 
aside from the best method for playing different shots. 
One golfer might pitch directly at the flag at a certain 
shot, while in your opinion the run-up would be the 
more natural. You might find, by questioning (but 
never questioning at an inappropriate time), that this 
particular green is softer than the others on the course. 
Or, again, a golfer might play a run-up where the more 
natural shot would be the pitch ; only you find that he 
knows the ground is too hard to get good results from 
a pitch. These are matters which have nearly as much 
to do w^ith success in competition as the ability to hit the 
l)all correctly, and they are points w^hich must be learned 
through experience. Sometimes there are marked dif- 
ferences in the character of the turf and soil on differ- 
ent holes of the same course. The experienced golfer 
gradually learns to form an estimate of such changing 
conditions, even by noting w^hether ground is high or 
low, and judging wdiether the low land has much mois- 
ture in it. 

These points, of course, do not enter immediately 
into the game of the younger golfer, but they are in- 
jected merely to emphasize the advantage of being ob- 
servant. 



THE GAME I LOVE 259 

On this very point, I once had a good lesson taught 
me. Together with Mr. Ray R. Gorton and Mr. H. W. 
Stucklen, prominent players of the Boston district, and 
Captain Albert Scott, also of Boston, who has a col- 
lection of wonderful photographs of famous golfers in 
action, I was visiting at the Garden City course, Long 
Island. Mr. Walter J. Travis and Mr. John M. Ward 
of the Metropolitan district were there, and after a 
round of golf, we went into the club-house, where a dis- 
cussion began of the way different shots were played. 
Mr. Travis, who probably has made as deep a study of 
the game as any man in the world, began to explain how 
he played different shots. His explanations opened my 
eyes in two ways. One was that I was rather aston- 
ished to hear him tell so clearly and minutely ex- 
actly how he played each shot, so that any person 
who had watched him play as closely as I had could 
have a clear mental vision of each movement of his 
club and body. The other thing that struck me most 
forcibly as I listened to his explanations was how lit- 
tle I actually knew about how I played shots my- 
self. Put the club in my hand and let me get out to 
play a shot, and I felt confident of being able to play it 
in a reasonably skilful manner; but to sit down and tell 
somebody else how I did it I realized was beyond me. 

From that time to the present, it has been my aim not 
only to try to play the shots correctly, but to know how 
and why I play them a certain way. Therefore my 
suggestion to the young golfer — any golfer for that 
matter : to study his own game as well as that of others. 
I '11 admit that at first it is not a very easy thing to do, 
especially for the golfer who is not sure of hitting the 
ball at all " true." Doubtless he feels that he has 
trouble enough obeying the cardinal principle of keeping 
his eye on the ball, taking the club back in approved 



26o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

fashion, and such Hke, without trying to pay heed to 
anything else. 

But a golfer can do something like this : he can take 
a dozen balls, for practice, and change his stance several 
times to note results. He might try placing the ball 
directly abreast of him and about half-way between his 
feet, with an open stance. Drive a few balls from that 
position and note the general results. Then he might 
try driving the ball from a position more in line with his 
right foot, and next time with it more abreast of his 
left foot. He doubtless will note, if he still stands 
about the same distance from the ball, that each stance 
brings its own general results. With one he finds that 
he is more apt to get the ball down the middle of the 
course, another seems to develop a tendency to pull, and 
another to slice. 

Of course, I should not advise beginners, or even 
those who have made moderate progress in the game, 
to spend a great deal of time on such experiments 
merely for the sake of knowing how to slice or pull at 
will. My suggestion is that such experiments occasion- 
ally are excellent correctives; as, for example, when a 
golfer finds himself continually pulling or slicing. It 
may not be that his stance is at fault at all, but that he 
is pulling his hands in toward him when he plays the 
shot, thus coming across the ball and slicing it, or that 
he is pushing his hands out. This I will say about ex- 
periments, however, that they at least inculcate in the 
golfer the idea of being something more than an autom- 
aton in the game. Every golfer naturally would like 
to be able to play with mechanical precision, but at the 
same time the average golfer would enjoy his own pre- 
cision far more by knowing exactly " how he does it." 

The more one studies his ow^n game, too, the more 
discerning he becomes in noting the good and bad points 



THE GAME I LOVE 263 

of some one else's play. As I have said before, there 
can be a great deal learned from watching good golfers. 
A person may note the stance taken by the proficient 
golfer; how much he bends his knees ; how he holds his 
head ; how far back he carries his club ; how he finishes 
the stroke ; how he grips his club. It should be borne in 
mind, though, in watching a first-class golfer to pick up 
pointers, that what the first-class golfer may do is not 
always a good method to follow. It might be impos- 
sible for the rank and file. Edward Ray is a mighty 
driver, but there probably are not a great many others 
who could drive exactly as he does and get good results. 
The more a player observes, the more readily will he 
pick up the point which is going to help his game, and 
cast aside the peculiarity which is not safe to follow. 

In suggesting that the young golfer would be wise in 
spending some of his time watching others, rather than 
playing himself, I know I am counseling something 
which hardly will appeal to many who delight in play- 
ing. They want the fun of playing. That is what 
they are in the game for ; that is why they are members 
of a club. Yet I can truthfully say that one of the 
keenest pleasures that I can have personally is in fol- 
lowing a couple of good golfers playing a round. It is 
almost as good as playing an exceptionally fine shot 
yourself to see some one else get up and hit the ball ex- 
actly as you would wish to see it hit or to do it yourself. 
You know just how you would feel after making such 
a shot, and you are mentally exhilarated by seeing some 
one else do it. 

There are other things, too, which cannot fail to im- 
press themselves upon a person of normal observance 
who watches the play, we '11 say, of two skilful profes- 
sionals. He will see these men strive, not necessarily 
to get down the middle of the course, nor as far as they 



264 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

can from the tee, but to place the ball at some particular 
point which is more advantageous for the second shot. 
They will drive, let us say, well to the left at a certain 
hole, trusting in their own skill to keep them away from 
trouble that looms up on that side, merely for the sake 
of playing their second shot from a point where they 
can see the green. To drive straight down the middle 
would be lots safer, but it might leave the ball where the 
green would be hidden from view. It is little things 
like that w^hich mark the difference between the golfer 
who continues gradually to improve in his play and his 
scoring and so many others who reach a certain point 
and there seem to stick. 

For the younger player joining a club and hoping not 
only to become a good player, but to make a favorable 
impression upon older meml^ers and get along well in 
the more social side of club life, I would suggest that 
it is more advisable to be a good listener than to do a 
great deal of talking. To listen to men of experience 
discuss the game, or, for that matter, to hear their views 
on various topics, is to gain many points which may 
prove valuable. By that I do not by any manner of 
means suggest that the younger member should eaves- 
drop or try to hear something not intended for his ears. 

Many golfers are apt to give a wide berth to the man 
who is inclined ever to talk about his own game. He 
wants to explain every victory and every defeat ; how if 
his shot to the fourteenth green had not hit a stone and 
bounded off the course, he would have won the match, 
or how lucky his opponent was in holding an approach 
at the fifteenth. The great thing to remember is that 
what has happened to you, in one particular match or 
round, has happened to many others, and will happen 
to many more, so it has not even the merit of being 
newsy ; unless there should happen to be some extraor- 



THE GAME I LOVE 265 

dinary occurrence, such as hitting a bird in flight or kill- 
ing a fish in a brook. 

For the young man, also (and this, too, may sound 
like preaching), my advice is to steer clear of that part 
of the social life which includes liquors. As this is not 
a temperance lecture, however, I will say nothing more 
on that score. 

The man who is fortunate enough to gain more than 
local fame, if such it may be called, in this wonderful 
game of golf is the object of many queries about this, 
that, or the other thing in connection with his play and 
his experiences on the links. He is certain to be asked 
what club he likes most among those which he generally 
carries ; what kind of shot he likes most to play ; what 
club he considers most valuable; and what shot gives 
him the greatest inward sensation of pleasure when suc- 
cessfully accomplished. Some golfers may find such 
questions easy to answer, but I must confess to a meas- 
ure of perplexity, at times, in diagnosing my own im- 
pressions, particularly with reference to what shot gives 
the greatest reward in thrills. There unquestionably is 
a great delight in getting away a long, straight drive, 
where the ball travels far through the air, and perhaps 
bounds merrily along for many additional yards after 
striking the ground ; there is the pleasure, inspired by a 
feeling of mastery, in compelling the ball to turn either 
to right or left to avoid some hazard, simply by a knowl- 
edge of how to hit it for what is termed a slice or pull ; 
there is joy in laying a mashie-shot dead, when you 
know that you have hit it firmly and have gained only 
what the shot actually deserved ; there is a sort of ex- 
ultation in hitting a long putt boldly and seeing the ball 
drop into the cup, an exultation intensified if you hap- 
pen to have that putt for a half or the hole. Yet more 
than any of these, as I think over the gamut of shots in 



266 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

golf, it strikes me that the greatest delight of all is to 
tind the ball sitting nicely up on the turf in the fairway 
with enough distance ahead to call for a full shot with 
the brassie, and then get away cleanly, with all the force 
at command, a shot with that club which, except for the 
number who use it for driving, has gone much out of 
fashion in these days of the lively ball. 

]\Iy observation would lead me to believe that the 
average golfer has his greatest pleasure when he makes 
what, for him, is an unusually good drive. This does 
not necessarily apply to the long hitter. There must be 
just as much satisfaction in a drive of 175 yards for 
the man who normally gets only 150, as in a drive of 
300 yards for him who frequently gets 250. In either 
case, there is the inward feeling of having accomplished 
something out of the ordinary, something which proves 
that there are latent powers in the man to be developed, 
so that, in time, his long drive of to-day will be his nor- 
mal drive of to-morrow. 

This matter of driving is one point that I would like 
to dwell upon, for it is a department of the game in 
which the young golfer, or the beginner, is apt to start 
out with misguided ideas. It has been pointed out 
already that the long driver is not necessarily the v/in- 
ner. Moderate distance, combined with accuracy, will 
win far more matches, or produce far better scores, 
than extraordinary distances but bad direction. If a 
golfer goes on the tee and with a prodigious effort sends 
the ball 300 yards, but out of bounds, what has he 
gained ? Only the right to play another ball from the 
tee, with the chance of equally disastrous results from 
the very fact that he already has wasted a stroke. One 
of the commonest mottoes is that " the longest way 
round is the shortest way home"; but in golf that is 
seldom the case; its only application, perhaps, is on a 



THE GAME I LOVE 267 

hole of the dog-leg variety, where one golfer takes a 
chance of getting into trouble by cutting a corner, while 
the other elects to play strictly along the line of the 
fairway. 

It is an excellent thing for the golfer to get into the 
habit, if he can, of mentally comparing his drive with 
what he remembers having done before at the same 
hole, rather than to disparage it by noticing how many 
yards he may be in back of his friend or rival. If he 
can bring himself into this enviable frame of mind, he 
has done much toward a greater enjoyment of golf, as 
well as toward greater efficiency in competition. This 
lesson came home to me during the Greater Boston In- 
terscholastic Championship of 19 10, at the Woodland 
Golf Club. One of the side events of that champion- 
ship was a driving-competition, which took place at the 
eighth hole. When it came my turn to drive, I got 
away three drives that I inwardly thought were " beau- 
ties." They were hit clean and hard, and the distances 
gained were highly satisfactory to me as I stood on the 
tee. When it came to measurements, however, my 
three efforts were far short, in total distance, of the 
three which won the prize. The fact that I had hit 
three balls cleanly and with all the power that I could 
muster brought the realization that I simply was not 
physically constituted to compete successfully in a driv- 
ing competition with older and stronger boys, and I 
perforce had to derive what satisfaction I could out of 
the fact that I had done as well as I did. 

Long driving is not an over-night acquirement. The 
boy or girl who takes up golf and expects to acquire 
distance and accuracy in short order is pretty apt to be 
disappointed. Getting greater distance is a slow, 
steady, and almost imperceptible process, which comes 
about as the golfer's muscles are strengthened by the 



268 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

process of swinging the clubs, as mind and muscles get 
to working in better unison, and as practice allows the 
player to think and worry less over whether he is going 
to hit the ball squarely from tee or fair-green. When 
that part of the game becomes a little more second na- 
ture, then there is fairly certain to be a few yards addi- 
tional length with the wooden shots and long irons, 
because the swing is apt to become freer. 

Sometimes it makes quite a difference what style of 
club the golfer is using. When I was a youngster and 
new to the game, I labored under the false impression 
that in order to get equal distance with other boys 
larger than myself it would be necessary for me to use a 
long and comparatively heavy driver, the length to pro- 
vide added leverage, and the weight to give just so 
much more initial impetus to the ball in its flight. It is 
with a smile that I now recall how at one time, when 
considerably younger and smaller than now, I struggled 
along with a driver forty-six inches long and fifteen 
ounces in weight, longer and heavier than the clubs 
which I use to-day. Of course it did not bring about 
the desired results, because the driver was too long and 
too heavy for me to swing quickly. It is quite likely 
that there are many playing the game to-day and get- 
ting poor results in their driving who would find quite 
an improvement if they used a brassie, instead of a 
driver, for the tee shots. The brassie face is laid back 
more than that of the driver, and even though many 
brassies are made with only a little more loft than the 
driver, at the same time this little helps to get the ball 
into the air. It also has the brass on the bottom of the 
club, which gives a little more " bite " as the club-head 
sweeps the ground and comes in contact with the ball. 
Many golfers may prefer the driver because, with its 
straighter face, the trajectory of the ball is kept lower 



THE GAME I LOVE 269 

and gives more run to the ball ; while it also works to 
advantage in playing against a wind. At the sarne 
time, one has, perhaps, more confidence in using a 
brassie with the feeling that it is just so much easier to 
get the ball away from the ground. It is entirely a 
matter for the individual, however. The only point 
that I would like to emphasize doubly is that it pays to 
learn to play the w^ooden clubs ; for while the iron may 
produce excellent distance, there are times when a full 
brassie-shot or a full drive will save a stroke that never 
could be done with anything else. Moreover, the pleas- 
ure of getting away a full wooden shot, as I said before, 
is great. 

For downright usefulness, as well as pleasure, there 
is hardly any other shot in golf quite the equal of the 
well-played mashie. There are long drivers in abund- 
ance, but it would not be stretching the point to say 
that for every twenty long drivers there is only one 
golfer who is equally effective with his mashie. This 
also refers to another club for the short approach, that 
is, the mashie-niblick, and perhaps, to a lesser extent, the 
niblick. The good drive unquestionably is a great asset 
in competitive golf, but as a rule it is the skill with the 
mashie that ordinarily stamps one golfer as superior to 
another. Here is the club which comes into play when 
the ball is comfortably near the hole, and fortunate is 
the man who can consistently get his ball nearer the hole 
than his opponent. Not only is he surer of getting 
down in two putts, but he has so much greater percent- 
age of opportunities for getting down in one. 

It is surprising how different is the attitude with 
which many a golfer faces the drive and that with 
which he goes at his mashie-play. On the tee his 
method is bold. He takes his stance, takes back his 
club, and hits at the ball in a manner which leaves no 



270 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

impression of uncertainty as to his intentions. Plainly, 
it is his intention that the ball is to go as far from the 
tee as it is within his power to make it. But put that 
man within seventy-five or a hundred yards of a green, 
with a mashie in his hands and the ball in a good lie, 
and what happens ? The distance is too short, we '11 
say, for a full mashie, and he hits the ball as if afraid 
that it might be an Qgg and that his club would break the 
shell. There is a lack of firmness about the shot which 
is fatal to success. It may not be so pronounced with 
a full mashie, but how often we see a seventy-live-yard 
approach only half hit, and the ball either stop well 
short of the green or barely get to the edge of it and 
still a considerable distance from the hole. 

My own motto is that every shot should be hit firmly, 
the mashie as well as the long iron or the still longer 
drive. Therefore, as the mashie is the club of which 
so many golfers seem to feel " afraid " when facing a 
certain kind of shots, my own belief is that one of the 
best means of improving one's game is to put in a tre- 
mendous amount of practice with the mashie. Mr. 
Walter J. Travis was never what might be called a long 
driver, but he won tournament after tournament and a 
number of championships because of his extraordinary 
skill with the mashie, supplemented by his remarkable 
putting. And even his putting had some of its success, 
no doubt, because of his mashie-play. A man who 
could so uniformly lay his ba41 well up to the hole was 
fairly certain of going down with more than average 
frequency in one putt, and thereby came some of that 
reputation as a putter which fell to Mr. Travis's lot. 
That is my own explanation, at any rate : which is not 
saying, by any means, that Mr. Travis has not been a 
great putter even when his ball has been far from the 
hole. 



THE GAME I LOVE 271 

The trouble that hosts of golfers experience in their 
mashie-play arises, according to my observation, from 
timidity — a tendency to let up in the stroke for fear 
of hitting too hard. Now with the mashie, or any 
other club, there is nothing more essential to success in 
golf than hitting the ball firmly. If the shot calls for a 
mashie, and yet the distance is too short for a full 
mashie, then, to my mind, the proper way to play it is 
to cut down the length of the swing and apply full power 
to the stroke, letting the shortening of the swing take 
care of the distance. The moment the effort is made 
to take the full mashie-swing, and then cut down the 
distance by letting down in force at the finish, the usual 
result is that the ball is not well hit, or it is not hit half 
hard enough. On the other hand, with the abbreviated 
swing, the ball is hit, relatively, just as hard as with the 
full swing ; hence it is much more apt to go straight, and 
is far better controlled. As to how far back to take 
the club for the distance to be gained, that is something 
on which, with practice and experience, the eye and 
muscles coordinate and telegraph to the brain instinc- 
tively. There are, of course, different kinds of mashie- 
shots to be learned, according to conditions of turf and 
other factors which enter into the game. If there is an 
approach which calls for a carry over a bunker fairly 
close to the green, the ball has to go into the air, and the 
golfer will learn that the best way of getting this result 
is by gripping his club loosely well up on the handle, 
letting the club-head brush the ground as it approaches 
it, and the natural loft of the club's face send the ball 
into the air. Then there is the approach where it is 
better to keep the ball low, where the grip is firmer and 
the ball somewhat " smothered " as the face of the club 
hits it and passes into the turf. 

The firm stroke applies not only to the mashie, but 



272 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to all the clubs used. Another point I should like to 
mention is that, in my opinion, it is unwise to " under- 
club " a shot, that is to say, not to press with a mashie to 
cover the distance which could be gained more easily 
with, say, a three-quarters shot with a mid-iron. The 
moment the player overexerts himself trying to get 
more than the normal distance with a club, he does so 
at the expense of accuracy. The thought of that extra 
distance to be covered predominates over everything 
else. 

Along this same line, too, is another error to which 
many a golfer is prone, which is in thinking that, be- 
cause his opponent has used a certain club for a certain 
shot, he must do likewise. Time and time again it has 
happened that one player in a match has taken, we '11 
say, a mid-iron to reach a green, and his opponent, see- 
ing the success of the shot, takes the same club against 
his own inward conviction that he ought to employ a 
cleek. Each golfer should be his own best judge of 
what club to use for a shot and not be governed by 
what anybody else does. The other player's mid-iron 
may be of a type for getting greater distance than yours, 
for one thing; and for another, it is always wisest to 
realize your own limitations and govern yourself ac- 
cordingly. 



XV 

LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 

By J. Parmly Paret 

Author of " ]\Iethods and Players of Modern Lawn-Tennis " 

With photographs illustrating good form in tennis, as posed by 
Harold A. Throckmorton, former National Interscholastic 

Qiampion 

THE most successful players of lawn-tennis 
have been almost always those who have taken 
it up when young. The steady growth of the 
game among school-boys, who learn to play while the 
muscles are still young and supple, has filled the ranks 
of the champions with those who learned to play in 
school. For tennis requires elastic, pliable muscles, 
rather than great strength, and more players suffer 
from being " muscle-bound " than from any lack of 
strength. It requires such quickness of action that 
powerfully built men are generally too slow of move- 
ment to be successful. Speed depends mostly on the 
perfect timing of the stroke, the momentum of the 
racket, and the swing of the body weight. 

Many interscholastic championship tournaments have 
helped the school-boys to forge ahead so rapidly that 
recently the older men have had little chance for the 
highest honors. The former national champion, Wil- 
liam M. Johnston, of San Francisco, is only twenty- 
three years of age, and but a short time out of school ; 
the present champion, R. Norris Williams, 2nd, of Phil- 
adelphia, is only twenty-five, lately graduated from 

273 



274 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Harvard, and only a few years ago a school-boy player 
of great skill. Before Williams, Maurice McLoughlin, 
of San Francisco, held the national title, and he, too, is 
in his twenties and held school honors only a few years 
back. 

The season before last, Flarold A. Throckmorton, of 
Elizabeth, N. J., won the national interscholastic cham- 
pionship, winning in the finals from young Charles S. 
Garland, of Pittsburgh, and both of these school-boys 
have won high honors in large open tournaments. Gar- 
land won fi\e or six different meetings open to all com- 
ers, while Throckmorton even forced Karl Behr, the 
fourth best player in America in 191 5 to the full limit 
of five sets before he was beaten. 

Throckmorton was selected as the best model for 
pictures to illustrate good form, and he consented to 
pose for the photographer. 

Good form in tennis is hard to describe. It is not 
necessarily the ability to win matches, nor is it always 
the most graceful way of hitting the ball; it is rather 
the method of playing those strokes that have been 
shown by long experience to produce the best results 
with the majority of players. One too often hears an 
ambitious young player declare that any stroke that 
wins is good enough for him. Because McLoughlin 
won international matches in spite of using a cramped 
backhand swing, they are willing to copy his style in the 
hope of equaling his skill. 

But success does not justify bad form. What a 
McLoughlin or a Brookes might do with a bad style of 
play is not always the best for others to attempt. Ten 
would fail with such methods where one would succeed, 
while with good form ten would succeed while one 
would fail. A young player with a generous future 
before him might much better select, as a model of good 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 275 

form, strokes such as Johnston uses or those shown by 
Larned. With such a model, any heahhy, active boy 
should be able to play tennis well after steady practice. 
The game does not require height or weight or any 
unusual physical qualification. 

But let no ambitious young player imagine that tour- 
nament success can be gained easily ! It takes years of 
hard work to become a champion. Once the rudiments 
of the game have been mastered, and the elements of 
good form are clearly understood, it requires endless 
patience and practice, perseverance and then more prac- 
tice, to learn to play the game really well. The boy who 
plays best is generally the boy who plays most, and, 
given other cjualities fairly equal, constant practice will 
quickly carry one player ahead of his rival. 

The selection of a racket and the necessary clothes 
must be considered carefully. Freedom and lightness 
are necessary in the clothing ; and it is very important 
that the shirt-sleeves shall not bind at the shoulders to 
interfere with freedom of the arm, while the shoes must 
be neither too loose nor too tight. Looseness is as bad 
as tightness, for either will wear blisters on the feet. 
Shoes should be light in weight and fit snugly, canvas 
" sneakers " being perhaps the best. 

The racket should not be too heavy for a young 
player. Older players prefer fourteen and a half 
ounces as a rule, but some use rackets of fourteen 
ounces. For a school-boy, thirteen ounces is heavy 
enough, but if he is fairly large and strong in the wrist, 
thirteen and a half ounces will not be too great a weight. 
The handle should be small enough for the thumb to 
overlap the fingers around its end. 

When one begins actual play, more progress will be 
made at first if balls are batted up against a wall or the 
side of a barn or house than if a regular court and net 



276 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

are used. The Ijall comes back much more evenly from 
a wall — which never misses a return — than from an- 
other player. 

Stand well away from the w^all, say twenty feet, and 
hit a ball up against it a hundred times in succession, 
trying each time to return the ball from the first bound 
without missing. This kind of practice will work w^on- 
ders in teaching the young player to hit the ball and to 
calculate its Right in the air and its angles of rebound. 

The racket should be held by the extreme end ; no 
worse fault can be developed than a habit of holding 
the racket with a short grip on the handle. At first the 
end grip will seem to throw too much strain on the arm 
and wrist ; but that is because you have not yet learned 
the cardinal rule of the game — to let the swing of the 
racket and its momentum do the work. 

As a beginner you will probably try to push the ball 
rather than hit it, and the strain then becomes hard on 
the wTist. But as you learn the proper stroke and 
loosen the stiffness of the arm to let the swing and 
weight of the body do the work, then the longer grip 
will be a great help and you will be glad that you did 
not cultivate the bad habit of a short grip. 

There are some differences of opinion among the best 
players as to the actual method of holding the racket in 
the hand, but the great majority (of Americans, at any 
rate) agree on the following grips, in which the position 
of the fingers gives the greatest possible freedom of the 
wrist and control in the direction of the ball. 

For the forehand stroke, the first finger is spread 
slightly apart from the others, and the thumb overlaps 
it, as it is bent around the handle. 

For the backhand stroke, one that is made with the 
ball on the left side (for right-handed players), the grip 
must be very different, and there is more difference of 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 277 

opinion here than in the simpler forehand stroke. The 
use of the thumb for the backhand stroke has been much 
discussed, but the best opinion in this country favors 
using it as a prop or support for the racket to stiffen it 
while making the stroke. It should therefore rest 
straight along the back of the handle ready to help in 
striking the ball. 

The grip should be tight at all times, and the slightest 
relaxation while a stroke is being made is likely to ruin 
it, as the racket can easily twist in the hand if the grip 
is not tight. 

The feet must be spread far apart when hitting the 
ball, and, speaking generally, in such relation to each 
other that a line drawn through them would show the 
direction in which the ball is to be played. Never stand 
around square toward the net to make a ground-stroke, 
for this weakens the power of the stroke. Instead of 
facing the net, turn so that the side points toward the 
net (the right for backhand strokes and the left side for 
forehand strokes). 

When waiting for the next stroke, you should not 
only keep the feet spread well apart, but also have the 
knees bent slightly to be ready for instant action. 
When the stroke begins, get right up on the toes and 
spring at the ball. 

When not making a stroke, balance the racket across 
in front of the body, the middle or " splice " of the 
frame resting in the hollow of the left hand, until you 
know whether your next stroke will be a forehand or a 
backhand one. 

Keep your eyes on the ball everlastingly, too. Watch 
it from the very moment your opponent is ready to 
strike it until you have made your own return, and after 
as it flies through the air. 

It is most important also that the player should " f ol- 



278 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

low through " with his stroke, for on this hangs the 
speed and power of the play. The arm alone can strike 
only a feeble blow at a tennis ball, just as an axman 
would take a week to fell a tree if he did n't swing his 
weight and body with his ax. If he stood upright as 
he struck at the trunk, his ax would make little impres- 
sion; nor would the base-ball player be able to throw 
a ball very far without the all-important " follow 
through." 

This is simply the action of swinging the weight of 
the body with the racket, so that its momentum is heav- 
ily increased when it reaches the ball and carries many 
times as much force as the arm alone could command. 

Before the stroke is made the body is turned and 
swung back. It comes forward with a smooth, even 
swing as the racket rushes to meet the ball, and all the 
impetus of the arm, shoulders, and trunk is accumu- 
lated in the racket when it strikes, if the body-swing is 
complete. But the swing should not stop here, it is 
necessary to " carry through " long after the ball has 
been hit, and the body-swing follows after the ball as 
long as possible. This after-swing increases the power 
of the stroke and helps to guide the direction of the ball. 
Without it, the weight must be checked before the ball 
is hit and the blow greatly weakened. 

Every motion, as far as possible, should be in direct 
line with the intended flight of the ball after it is hit. 
All side motions show a loss in power to the stroke, and 
the more directly the swing of body, shoulders, arm, 
and racket can be made to follow the line of the ball's 
flight, the better will be the stroke. 

One of the greatest faults a player must overcome 
is the tendency to get too close to the ball. The playing 
arm must be kept well clear of the body to allow a free 
swing, and the ball must be met at a point well away 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 279 

from the body. It is better to lean out and meet the 
ball, to jump at it and bend forward and outward 
toward it, rather than to meet it standing erect. 

Don't try to hit the ball hard at first ; be content with 
moderate speed and learn accuracy and steadiness first. 
Speed will come later when you become so accustomed 
to hitting the ball every time without missing that you 
feel you have good control of the different strokes. It 
is far better to make a slow stroke well than to miss a 
fast one, and trying for speed causes more mistakes 
than almost any other fault in beginners. 

Having mastered these first general principles, then, 
it will be safe to take up the strokes of the game one 
at a time and see how they are best made; but before 
moving on to more intricate problems it would be well 
to go over once more the points covered here : 

1. Clothes should fit loosely and comfortably, but 
the shoes should be snug in fit. 

2. The new racket should be light and have a small 
handle. 

3. Hold the racket by the extreme end and grip it 
tightly. 

4. The feet should be far apart and in line with the 
play, the side of the body toward the net. 

5. Give the arm a full, long swing and let the momen- 
tum of the racket do the work. 

6. Keep your eyes everlastingly on the ball. 

7. Keep away from the ball and give it plenty of 
room. 

8. Swing the body with the play, and " follow 
through '* after the ball with the weight. 

9. Don't try to hit the ball too hard at first; it is 
better to be sure of not missing and learn speed a little 
later. 



28o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

In teaching lawn-tennis strokes, personal help is far 
better than written instruction, but few school-boys 
have the advantage of coaching from an experienced 
player. Many could gain more, perhaps, by watching 
another boy being coached than by reading the simplest 
directions. 

I helped a school-boy friend of mine a few seasons 
ago to learn the game, and he improved so rapidly in 
his play that I took a great interest in his success. 
The ability to make himself pliable has a good deal to 
do with any beginner's success in tennis. Jack had 
that ability well developed, and, although he asked 
many questions, he seemed to absorb rapidly w^hat I 
told him. I had already explained the first principles 
of the play, and he seemed to have picked up a good 
groundwork from my first lesson. 

" Jack," said I, the first time we took up actual 
stroke-play, " you remember what I told you about not 
needing muscle to hit a tennis-ball fast? Well, now 
you will see that theory applied. You will see that 
it is the momentum of the racket and the swing of the 
body that do the work, not the muscular strength of 
the player." 

It always encouraged my young friend when I re- 
minded him of this feature that is common to all sports 
where a ball is struck. It gave him the confidence in 
himself that he lacked so much, for he was a frail, thin 
little lad who had despaired of ever making his college 
football team or rowing on the crew. But I had al- 
ready half convinced him that he did n't need the phy- 
sical qualifications of an oarsman or a football-player 
to play tennis and golf well, and he had secretly de- 
termined to become a champion in one or both. 

The stumbling-block of most young tennis-players 
lies in their failure to apply their weight at the right 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 281 

time, to swing the racket long enough before hitting 
the ball to get its momentum well developed. 

" Now, as you see the ball coming toward you, Jack, 
you must figure in advance where it will bound in 
order to be sure of hitting it. Get well behind the 
ball. Don't under any circumstances get close to it. 
Stand far back — much farther than you think is right 

— and well out of line with its flight, so the arm can 
have free play to make a long swing at the side." 

" But suppose the bound is shorter than I expect ? " 
he said. " I won't be able to reach it." 

" Yes, you will. Every stroke should be made on 
the jump. That is, you should lean forw^ard, and even 
jump forward, to meet the ball as you strike, and it is 
only necessary to jump a little quicker or a little far- 
ther if the ball does not bound as far or as high as you 
had expected. 

" First of all, you must turn sidewise to meet it. 
Never play the ball with the racket in front of the body, 

— that is, toward the net. Keep the ball off at the 
side and far enough away to allow plenty of room for 
a long reach of the arm. Nothing ruins a good tennis- 
stroke more quickly than a cramped elbow, which is 
the result of getting too close to the ball. 

" A forehand stroke is one made with the ball on 
the right side so that the arm has a free sweep at it, 
with the playing shoulder somewhat behind the blow, 
while backhand strokes are those made with the ball 
at the left side, with the playing arm partly across the 
body and the shoulder ahead of the ball." 

" Suppose a boy is left-handed; does that make any 
difference? " he asked. 

" Of course it does," I explained, " but the great 
majority of players are right-handed. All directions 
must be reversed for a left-handed player, for it is the 



282 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

side on which the playing arm meets the ball that makes 
it a forehand or a backhand stroke. 

" The forehand strokes are much easier to play, and 
whenever the ball comes directly at you, and sometimes 
even when you have to jump aside, it is better to move 
to the left to bring the ball on the right side, so that it 
can be played with a forehand stroke. 

'* For all forehand strokes, the left side should be 
turned toward the net as the ball approaches, and the 
right foot should be far behind the left, so that they 
are almost in line with the direction you intend to 
drive the ball. The weight should be thrown far back 
on the right foot as the ball approaches, and the racket 
swung back as far as the arm can carry it, long before 
it is time to strike." 

" I can't seem to do that," said Jack, again. " I 'm 
always afraid that I '11 get the racket back behind me 
too soon, and then that I can't shift back if I mistake 
where the ball is coming." 

" I know what you mean. I know^ the feeling, and 
nearly all beginners have the same trouble. They 
hesitate to draw the racket back until they can actually 
see the ball in the air in front of them — and then it 's 
too late ! Then they have n't time for a full swing, 
and the result is that they make only half a swing, and 
the stroke is cut so short there is little or no momentum 
in the racket, and the result is a fizzle. 

" It is simply a matter of confidence. You can 
hardly go wrong by swinging back too early. Long 
before the ball even touches the ground, the racket 
should start backward, and the earlier this preliminary 
swing is started the longer will be the stroke, and the 
less effort will be required to hit the ball hard. And 
if you should find the racket drawn back too early, 
which is very seldom, an easy remedy is offered, for a 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 285 

slight pause at the end of the back-swing is inchned 
to steady the stroke somewhat, not to hurt it. Larned 
frequently paused at the back of his long swing, and 
W'renn even cultivated that steadying of the racket be- 
fore the actual stroke that drove the ball was started." 

We practised awhile after this, Jack and I, and I 
found that the lad had absorbed what I had been telling 
him. His racket went back earlier and farther, and 
the ball came back harder to me each time he used a 
long swing. Soon a new light was borne in on him, 
for he stopped a minute. 

" Now I see how the long grip on the racket helps 
me, too," he said. " The hardest thing I have had to 
learn is to hold my racket by the extreme end. The 
leverage is so great that it bent my wrist back when I 
held it by the very end. If I held it up in the middle, 
I could wait longer before I swung at the ball, and I 
did n't miss it so often when I swung late." 

" But you were making only a half-stroke, a push, 
or a jab at the ball, then, and you were using the mus- 
cles of your arm to do it, Jack. The ball did n't go 
fast either, and it could n't go fast from such a stroke 
if the strongest arm in the world hit it with only half 
a swing. 

" Even at the risk of missing a good many strokes 
at first, take the racket by the end, swing back early, 
and then use a long free swing at the ball and the mo- 
mentum will do the work; the ball will go away fast, 
and besides being hit harder, it will travel straighter 
in the direction you want it to go. But as you hit it, 
put the weight of the body in the stroke also. Swing 
forward as the arm comes on to meet the ball, shifting 
the weight from the right to the left foot, and let the 
weight of the shoulders and the body increase the speed 
and power of the racket until its momentum and force 



286 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

are so great that the ball is driven ahead fast with little 
or no muscular effort. 

*' But the swing must not be checked or stopped when 
the ball is hit. The follow-through that you hear golf- 
players talk about so much is just as important in tennis 
as it is in golf. The shoulders and body-weight should 
follow after the ball as long as possible. As it leaves 
the racket, the body should swing around and the 
weight shift all the way over to the left foot. The end 
of the stroke, with a bend of the wrist, brings the racket 
up over the left shoulder. 

" Look at these pictures of Harold Throckmorton, 
former interscholastic champion, making his strokes, 
and you will get a better idea of the correct swing than 
I can tell you in words." 

" But his racket seems to be bent over flat at the end 
of the stroke," Jack commented after studying the pho- 
tographs for a few minutes. 

" Exactly so ; and that bend of the wrist gives the 
twisting motion, the ' top-spin ' as it is called, that 
makes the ball fly fast, brings it down to the ground 
sooner than a straight-hit ball, and also enables the 
player to control its direction better. As the racket 
meets the ball, it should be beveled slightly forward, 
that is, with the top edge of the frame ahead of the 
bottom, so as to break the sharp impact of the ball with 
a glancing blow. 

*' As the stroke is made, the racket is drawn upward 
as well as forward, so that the strings are rubbed over 
the ball's cover, and the rough felt clings to the elastic 
surface long enough for the upward drag to brush the 
ball into a spinning motion as it flies over the net. 
This upward swing of the racket is continued, and it 
carries the end of the stroke up over the left shoulder. 
H the swing ends lower down, opposite the chest, the 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 287 

ball will have less spin, and if it ends up in front of 
the head, the twist will be so exaggerated that much of 
the accuracy will be lost. 

" Now the effect of this twisting motion, or spin, 
is to make the ball curve in its flight. The forward- 
spinning top of the ball meets wdth greater resistance 
from the pressure of the air above, and the ball curves 
downward unnaturally. This curve helps the player to 
keep the ball inside the court, and makes it harder for 
his opponent to volley well. It is the same thing w'ith 
a base-ball, and it is this same principle that enables the 
pitcher to throw a ball which curves in the air. 

" There are also under-cut strokes in tennis, or balls 
that spin in the opposite direction, as well as those 
which curve down in their flight. A ball that is driven 
w^ith an under-cut, or ' slice,' by a chop-stroke, as it is 
generally called, has the opposite effect. The bottom 
of the ball spins faster than the top, and the air-pres- 
sure from below has a tendency to keep it up longer 
in the air than is natural before its own weight brings 
it to the ground. These cut-strokes have a great draw- 
back, though, because with them you cannot hit the 
ball so fast as with a drop-stroke, or it will go out of 
court." 

" Has the cut-stroke any advantage over the one you 
described first, the ball that carries top-spin ? " was the 
next interruption. 

" Not one that would offset the disadvantage of its 
lack of speed. The chop-stroke is made with a shorter 
swing and the racket travels slightly downward in mak- 
ing the stroke. It meets the ball with the bottom edge 
extended, and the glancing blow reverses the effect of 
the other stroke, finishing off in front of the left knee. 
The shorter swing makes it possible to delay the stroke 
longer, and sometimes helps accuracy of placing, but 



288 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the under-spinning ball is easier to volley, has a tend- 
ency to * sail ' out of court, and cannot be played fast 
for this reason. 

" The skill of the chop-stroke player is limited, while 
that of the boy who uses top-spin has no limit. I 
would never advise any boy to learn the chop-stroke 
style. It is much more often used by men who have 
learned the game when much older, when their joints 
are too stiff to allow a long, free swing at the ball." 

Jack was young enough, and ambitious enough, and 
pliable enough to follow good advice, and he started at 
once to practise the forehand drop-stroke, as this stroke 
is most often called, from the characteristic drop in the 
flight of the ball. I believe it is always safer to learn 
the forehand stroke first, before beginning with the 
other more difficult plays of the game, so we postponed 
the backhand stroke for another lesson. 

Before we finished our first lesson in actual play, 
however, I went over the ground once more with him, 
so that the most important points would stick in his 
memory : 

" Remember, Jack," the lesson ended, " that it is the 
momentum of the racket, not the strength of your arm, 
that does the work. 

Draw the racket away back until it disappears behind 
the shoulders; start the swing very early and make it 
full and long. 

Jump at the ball as you strike, keeping well away 
from it as the ball approaches. 

Meet the ball at the height of the hips, with all your 
weight in the l)low, and then follow through with the 
racket until it has swung after the ball as far as you can 
reach. 

" Don't forget to draw it up a little just as you meet 
the ball (in order to give the ball some top-spin), and 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 291 

rub the strings across its cover to make it twist in the 
air. Avoid the under-cut or chop-strokes, for the spin 
on such a ball makes it stay up in the air longer and 
tends to make it sail out of court." 

The first real stumbling-block of the average school- 
boy who takes up lawn-tennis is, generall}^ the back- 
hand stroke. He will not find it hard to understand 
the first principles, already explained, nor the forehand 
strokes ; but when it comes to backhand play, an entirely 
new^ idea comes up. It is generally hard to get used to 
the different positions required. 

I had this same difficulty with my young pupil. Jack, 
w^ho went sailing along smoothly until he reached this 
point. I did not let him try the backhand stroke, hovr- 
ever, for some time after he had learned the simpler 
plays, and I made him practise for a week against the 
side of a friendly house, using only the forehand stroke, 
before I explained the new problem. 

'' Now, Jack,'' I said, the day we first took up this 
stroke, " you must get a clear idea first just what the 
difference is between forehand and backhand play. It 
is easy to talk about these shots and not know what 
they mean. 

" A backhand stroke is one that is made when the ball 
is on the opposite side of the player from the striking- 
arm. For the usual right-handed boy, it is a ball that 
comes on his left side, and the body must be turned 
around entirely, facing in the opposite direction to the 
forehand stroke, when this play is to be made. With 
the right foot forward, and the right shoulder toward 
the net, the feet should be almost in line with the flight 
of the ball, the left far behind the right. 

" This brings the shoulder of the striking-arm around 
where it will have the most freedom for the swing, but 
a little ahead of the ball when it is hit." 



292 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

" But why can't the same position be used for both 
strokes? 1 should think it would take too much time 
to shift your position every time the ball comes on the 
opposite side of the body," he suggested. 

" But you don't make a full shift each time. After 
every stroke you play, you should return to the waiting 
position, which brings the racket in front of the body, 
balanced with the fork, or * splice,' resting in the idle 
left hand, and the body turned around to face the net 
again. With the feet spread out diagonally, you will 
be ready for any stroke, no matter which way the ball 
may come, and it is very easy to step into the correct 
striking position. 

" A splendid rule to keep always in mind is — never 
to wait in the striking position and never to strike in 
the waiting position." 

" But why not wait in the position you held when the 
last stroke was made ? Are n't you doing double work 
when you shift to the waiting position and then step 
back again for the same stroke you had just made? " 

'' Sometimes, perhaps," I had to admit, recognizing 
the obstacle over which so many beginners stumble; 
" but when you learn to play a little better, if you don't 
make this extra effort, the other boy you are playing 
against will soon get you in trouble, and it will cost you 
many valuable points. A quick player soon takes ad- 
vantage of his adversary if he finds him waiting in the 
wrong position, and promptly places the ball on the op- 
posite side of the court, and so wins. There is not time 
enough to make the shift, and the player strikes with 
the wrong foot forward and from the wrong position, 
so that the point is lost nine times out of ten." 

We practised awhile, and I watched Jack testing out 
this new idea. At first, like all beginners, he waited to 
watch the result of each stroke before he got back into 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 293 

the correct waiting position, so I promptly taught him 
a much-needed object-lesson by placing the ball sud- 
denly a few times on the opposite side, with always the 
same result. He was surprised by the attack, and each 
time he failed to make a good return from this stroke. 
At last he saw the point of what I had been trying to 
drive into him. 

" Well, I guess you 're right," he gasped, badly out 
of breath, after a fifth " ace " on his backhand side, 
which came as a result of his waiting after a forehand 
stroke in the same position, expecting to play the next 
ball without a shift. 

" You are never safe in tennis," I explained, " unless 
you are in position to return anything, no matter where 
the ball may come. Even though you make a hundred 
forehand strokes in succession, the first time you fail 
to come back to the waiting position to anticipate any 
other, that is the signal for a wise opponent to give you 
on the other side a ball that should win." 

In backhand play, it is hopeless to try to make the 
stroke with the feet in the wrong position, for the arm 
must then cross the body, and the playing shoulder, that 
is the pivot of the blow, will be on the opposite side 
from the ball. For full freedom, it is necessary to get 
the shoulder way forward and the body so turned that, 
as the racket goes back behind the head and left shoul- 
der, the arm will have freedom for a full stroke. 

As the sweep of the arm brings the racket forward to 
hit the ball, the weight should be swung ahead to in- 
crease the power of the blow. When the racket is way 
back, the weight should be entirely over the left foot ; 
when the ball is struck, it is about evenly divided be- 
tween the two legs, while at the end of the stroke it 
should swing forward until entirely over the right foot. 

" The swinging of the body with the stroke lengthens 



294 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

the swing of the racket and adds the weight of the body 
to the power of the blow," I explained to my youn^ 
pupil. ** It is not only needed to strike a full stroke at 
the ball, but it also helps to keep the racket in the right 
path and so guide the ball in the direction intended. 
This swing is continued long after the ball has left the 
racket, and should follow after the ball as much as 
possible in the same direction that it is traveling. The 
more directly the line of this swing follows the ball's 
flight, the better will be the control of the player over 
the ball." 

Again Jack interrupted. " How can any motion of 
the racket after the ball has left it affect the flight? " he 
wisely questioned. 

Strictly speaking, he was right, too. It cannot, but 
the swing after the ball has left does affect the swing 
before, and that affects the flight of the ball. If the 
player were to stop the racket immediately after he 
had hit the ball, or turn it off sharply at another angle, 
it would be practically impossible to prevent this from 
affecting the earlier swing, and so the direction of the 
ball. To get the full value of the stroke, then, and 
make the all-important ** follow-through " effective, 
keep your racket in line with the ball's flight and make 
the swing follow it closely and as long after as possible. 

At the end of the swing, of course, the racket can- 
not be checked suddenly; at the limit of the reach, it 
should be allow^ed to swing off to the side, gradually 
stopping its forward motion. 

Jack had a tendency at first to bend his elbow some- 
what in making the backhand stroke, and I had a good 
deal of trouble in making him straighten it out, to make 
the blow in the same " plane of force," as it is called by 
the experts. 

'' As far as possible," I explained, '' keep your arm 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 297 

and racket horizontal, and do not bend your elbow. 
The tennis-stroke is really made with a jointed rod, 
hinged at the shoulder, at the elbow, and at the wrist. 
Power transmitted through a crooked rod is never so 
effective as through a straight one. If there is a sharp 
bend at the elbow or wrist, it will weaken the blow ; so 
try to keep the arm well extended and as nearly in line 
with the racket handle as possible." 

The new ideas were soon in practice, and I saw my 
young pupil improve rapidly as he followed the rules 
laid down. He seemed a bit uncertain about his back- 
hand grip, however, for he had heard there were several 
ways possible of holding the racket. There was dan- 
ger of his failing entirely, as there is with so many boys, 
because a confusion of ideas might prevent his forming 
any fixed habits of play, so I repeated often to him 
these golden rules for backhand strokes : 

Always use your thumb up the handle to support 
the racket; swing around with your playing shoulder 
toward the net and your feet in line with the flight of 
the ball ; swing the racket back well over the opposite 
shoulder and follow through with the swing as far as 
the arm can reach; let the weight of the body swing 
forward with the racket, starting over the rear foot and 
ending over the forward foot; and, above all, always 
return after each stroke to the w^aiting position, with 
racket balanced in front of the body, so as to be pre- 
pared for the next stroke, no matter where the ball may 
come. 

The service and volleying in lawn-tennis are a dis- 
tinct department of the game, different from all the 
rest, and they can be safely classed together because the 
strokes are much the same. The school-boy who has 
learned his first principles of play and his ground- 
strokes, as already explained, needs only the volley- 



298 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

stroke and service to complete an elementary knowledge 
of the game. 

Overhead volleys and service are different from any 
of the ground-strokes because the motion is not in any 
way the same. For ground-strokes the swing is for- 
ward and upward to lift the ball over the net; but for 
serving and volleying, the sweep of the racket is for- 
ward and downward, as the ball must be hit high up in 
the air and driven down, not lifted up. 

My young pupil, Jack, found it difficult at first to 
get this distinction that I tried so hard to make plain, 
and I thought of a happy comparison that made the 
difference clear. 

" You have seen a wood-chopper at work, have n't 
you, Jack ? You have seen him chop down a tree, and 
probably you have noticed the swing of his ax. Every 
blow is made with the same long swing, the ax starting 
from behind his back, w^ell dow^n below the shoulders. 
The ax starts upward and outward at the end of his 
arm's reach, and finally forward and then downward, 
following a sweep of nearly a full circle. 

*' The centrifugal force of this swing increases the 
speed of the ax as it flies through the air, until, when it 
strikes into the trunk of the tree, it has accumulated 
great power. Without this, the wood-cutter would 
take a week to cut down a fair-sized tree. The power 
of the muscles alone would hardly make the ax cut into 
the wood at all. 

" Now, the overhead tennis-stroke is much the same 
as this, for the swing is similar and the same centrifugal 
force is needed to give the racket force enough to drive 
a fast ball. I do not know of a better model for the 
service than the blow of a wood-chopper's ax." 

" But the ax stops short in the wood," suggested 
Jack, " and the racket travels on after hitting the ball. 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 299 

The finish of the swing must be different, I should 
think." 

" Exactly so," I was glad to explain, for this led up 
directly to one of the most important points of overhead 
play. '' In serving and in smashing, the racket must 
follow through as in the ground-strokes; it must fol- 
low after the ball as far as possible before being 
checked. But the swing is made in the same manner 
that the woodsman uses with his powerful ax-blow. 

" The racket should start from well behind the back, 
hanging downward, so that the upward and forward 
drag wnll give it good speed when it meets the ball. 
And the player must reach high up in the air also to 
meet the ball. It should be hit at the highest point it is 
possible to reach, at the extreme end of the arm's 
stretch, and the player should even rise up on his toes 
to increase the reach. 

" The racket should be beveled a trifle, that is, turned 
so as to strike a glancing blow^ that w'ill make the ball 
spin around, and it should be kept in contact as long 
as possible with the ball to help guide it on the proper 
course, as well as to make it spin in its flight. 

" The ball should be met wdth a chopping, side-wiping 
blow, and the racket drawn downw^ard quickly while 
still in contact with it. The ' drag ' of the racket's 
strings in making the service helps to bring the ball 
down to earth quickly after crossing the net, so that it 
will not fly out of court." 

We practised awhile. Jack and I, and he served for 
some time, putting into practice the stroke I had been 
showing him. IMost of the balls he served went into 
the net at first. I found that he w^as striking the ball 
from too far out in front of where he stood, and this 
fault always brings the ball down too fast. I showed 
him where the error was and he tried again, and then 



300 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

he struck at the ball too far back over his shoulder, with 
the opposite result, for most of his services then went 
out of court instead of into the net. 

After an hour's practice, he finally got the stroke 
right, and his racket met the ball almost directly over 
his shoulder each time, so that most of the balls went 
into the right court. But, like all boys, his impetuous 
temperament made him want to rush ahead too fast, 
and he began to run before he had fully learned to 
walk. 

" Don't try to hit so fast until you are more certain 
of making the stroke," I warned the lad; but he was 
full of enthusiasm and had a burning desire to imitate 
McLoughlin with every service. As a result, he not 
only made many faults, but he was constantly making 
double faults as well, and I had to give him the same 
advice I find is needed by so many other young players, 
a warning that too few can be made to follow. 

" A double fault is the worst sign of weakness a 
young player can have," I explained. " Most begin- 
ners scorn to serve a slow ball, as they think it childish, 
but the experienced player has far more respect for the 
boy who seldom makes a double fault, even saving him- 
self with the slowest kind of a second service to be cer- 
tain of not missing it, than he has for the show-off 
slam-banger w'ho hits every service hard and misses 
most of them. 

" Another thing, Jack," I lectured, " remember that 
both feet must be outside of the court when you serve." 
I had seen him repeatedly step on the line while serving, 
and he was contracting one of the worst habits of the 
game. ** The rules are very positive about this point, 
and a ball served while one foot is on the line or inside 
the court is as much a fault as though the ball went into 
the net" 



LAWN-TENNIS FOR BOYS 303 

This is a point that every beginner should study care- 
fully before bad habits are formed. 

Overhead volleying is very much like serving, as I 
have already explained, the chief difference being that 
the player must go to the ball and cannot select his own 
place and time to make the stroke. When the ball falls 
near the net, even a beginner is safe in making a regular 
smash, hitting the ball with great force ; but if the oppo- 
nent's lob is far back in the court, the chances for suc- 
cess are far smaller, and it is dangerous to risk such a 
shot. 

To smash is to volley overhead with all the power 
you have, expecting that speed alone will kill the ball 
and end the play without further opposition. On 
dropping balls that can be played while close up, this 
smash is not difficult, but much the same stroke can be 
played from farther back in the court, by moderating 
the power when necessary, and directing the ball to one 
side of the court, so as to win the play by placing rather 
than speed. 

The same backward swing is necessary for smashing 
as for serving, but the swing should be cut much shorter 
for other volleys, as less momentum is needed in the 
racket for these strokes. The ball is met in the same 
way with the face of the racket beveled slightly out- 
ward, and the stroke works best if chopped slightly with 
a twisting motion. For ordinary volleys, that are not 
fast enough to be called smashes, the ball can be played 
slightly farther in front than for smashes. 

After practising this stroke for a while, Jack reached 
the conclusion that so many other school-boys come to. 

*' I 'd like to smash every ball," said he, and promptly 
overdid this stroke as he had the service, until I stopped 
his enthusiasm. 

" Remember, Jack," I warned, " smashing looks fine 



304 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

to the gallery when it succeeds, but the winning player 
in a match is seldom the boy who goes rushing up to 
the net at every opportunity and smashes every ball he 
can possibly reach. These tactics bring too many er- 
rors, and the tournament winner is most often the care- 
ful, heady player, who takes less risks, sacrifices some 
of his gallery tactics to sound judgment, and keeps the 
ball going back over the net until his dashing adversary 
knocks it out of court." 

As a final review, I went over the most important 
points that should be remembered in serving and volley- 
ing. These should be studied by every school-boy 
when he learns the game : 

Always serve and volley overhead with a free sweep 
of the shoulder; start the racket well behind the back 
and swing it fast enough to gather good momentum 
before it hits the ball ; strike as high as you can possibly 
reach the ball and follow through wath the racket after 
the ball as far as possible. 

In serving, you must remember to keep both feet be- 
hind the base-line until the ball has left the racket, and 
make the second service slow enough to be sure not to 
score a double fault; for overhead volleying, use the 
same stroke as for serving, and keep well under the 
ball ; do not risk a smash unless close up to the net, and 
when you do smash, hit the ball fast enough to " kill it 
dead," as the Irishman put it. 



XVI 

UP-TO-DATE METHODS FOR SUCCESS IN SWIMMING 
By L. De B. Handley 

I HAD occasion, last winter, to visit one of New 
York's public baths while the swimming team of 
a local elementary school was at practice. About 
twenty boys, not yet in their 'teens, were grouped about 
the pool, listening to one of their number who was in- 
structing a lad in the water. The sight interested me, 
and I drew close. 

" Keep your feet under the surface, when you crawl," 
the youthful mentor was saying, '' and lift your elbows 
higher at the catch ! " 

I gasped in surprise. Here was a youngster, prob- 
ably of ten or twelve, ably imparting knowledge of the 
latest of modern strokes. I approached him during a 
lull. 

" Are you the team coach ? " I asked. 

" Oh, no! " he exclaimed; *' we have a professional, 
but I 'm captain, and I take charge when he 's not here." 

" And who taught you ? " I inquired. 

" My big brother. He is a member of a club squad, 
and he 's been at me since I was eight, four years ago." 

I remained to watch, and was astounded to note how 
superbly at home in the water were these budding cham- 
pions. Every one could dive, plunge, and swim every 
type of stroke. 

I mention this experience of mine to point a moral. 
No boy is too young to take up the art of swimming, 

305 



3o6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

and no boy should neglect to do it almost as soon as 
he can walk. 

Hardly a day passes in summer without the report of 
some drowning accident appearing in the newspapers, 
and this alone is sufficient reason to induce every one to 
learn how to swim, for swimming not only affords the 
means of saving our own lives, but of rendering a noble 
service to humanity in rescuing our fellow-beings. 

Furthermore, natation has other great advantages. 
No form of exercise is better suited to improve mind 
and body. Swimming gives courage, self-reliance, con- 
trol; and it develops the muscular system in perfect 
uniformity. As a pastime, it has no equal. Most boys 
love to bathe, and the pleasures of a dip are increased 
tenfold when one is an expert waterman; then, too, 
such proficiency opens the path to the thrills of aquatic 
contests, and to the enjoyment of such splendid games 
as Rugby and Association water-polo, aquatic basket- 
ball, push-ball, water base-ball and other popular sports. 

It is really not difficult to become a good swimmer, 
if one goes about it in the right manner. The quickest 
and straightest road to success is undoubtedly to find a 
competent instructor, and let him do the leading; but it 
is quite possible to learn unaided. 

I have found it most useful to give the beginner a 
course of so-called " dry-swimming," which entails land 
drill in the various parts of the stroke, before passing to 
work in the water. Once the arms and legs have be- 
come accustomed to the movements, they will come 
naturally when one graduates to actual swimming. In- 
deed, both the novice and the more advanced waterman 
will find preliminary work beneficial, as they progress to 
the racing strokes. 

There are two ways, generally recognized, of learn- 
ing to swim: first, through the dog-paddle; second, 




ILLUSTRATING POSITION OF THE CRAWL STROKE 
The crawl kick is an up-and-down thrash of the lower legs, from the knee 




SIDE VIEW OF THE CRAWL STROKE 
The arm passing under the body 



UP-TO-DATE METHODS IN SWIMMING 309 

through the breast-stroke. The former is the method 
of primitive man, and has the double merit of coming 
instinctively and of being closely related in its main 
features to the crawl, which is nowadays the aim of 
every young man; the latter is more complicated, re- 
quires considerable study, and has no exceptional value. 
In my opinion, the dog-paddle will in most instances 
give better results, but in view of the fact that many 
of our experts adhere to the breast-stroke, I will explain 
both. 

No elaborate instruction is needed for the dog- 
paddle. The arms are rotated in the manner that every 
boy has seen a dog use his front paws in the water, and 
the legs are just flapped alternately back and forth, 
much as one does in walking. Find some place where 
the water is about up to your chest, and go ahead. Do 
not thrash away too fast, though; try to make every 
motion slow and effective. You will soon discover that 
the simple efforts will keep you afloat for a few feet, and 
you can increase the distance little by little. If you go 
too rapidly, you will tire immediately, and retard prog- 
ress. Have in mind always that ability to stay on top 
is merely a question of balance, for the body is lighter 
than the water w^hen the lungs are functioning normally, 
and, if you assume the right position, you cannot pos- 
sibly sink. To prove this to yourself, just attempt in 
shallow water to lie down on the bottom, and note how 
you are forced irresistibly upward. 

The elementary crawl is similar to the dog-paddle ex- 
cept inasmuch as the arms are swung above water in 
recovering, that is, in moving from the end of the drive 
to full reach. 

If you tackle the breast-stroke, begin on shore. 
Stand upright, with arms outstretched in front, and 
hands together, back to back. Divide the stroke into 



3IO THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

three parts, counting as you go, and using the legs one 
at a time, in succession. At count one, pull the arms 
back parallel to the ground, until they are in line with 
the shoulders, and take a deep breath as they circle, 
simultaneously drawing up one foot, toes down and 
knee out ; at two, lower the elbows to the body, carry 
the hands to the chest — palms down, fingers closed 
and pointing forward — lift the toes and straighten the 
leg so that the foot is about eighteen inches from the 
other ; at three, thrust the arms to full reach, bend down 
the toes, snap leg to starting position, and expel the air 
from the lungs. Repeat this cycle, alternating with 
either leg, until you are familiar with every detail ; then 
stretch across a narrow couch, or some other comfort- 
able support, and go through the movements, using both 
legs. 

You are now ready for the water. Proceed at first 
to stand on the bottom, leaning slightly forward so that 
your arms are just submerged, and perform the arm- 
drive, breathing at the same time, as told above. Pay 
close attention to the breathing, because it is all-impor- 
tant. While the arms pull, the head is high and the 
mouth above the surface, so that you can inhale freely ; 
but when the arms recover, the body sinks, and if, in- 
stead of exhaling, you breathe in at this time, you will 
probably suck in water and choke. 

In attacking the whole breast-stroke, it is advisable 
for those who are a bit timid to select a shallow spot, 
and practise with the confidence inspired by the knowl- 
edge that they can find foothold by just dropping the 
legs. Good depth is recommendable in other cases, 
though. One may either don a belt to which a pole and 
line are attached, and ask a friend to lend support, or 
one can strap on some floating device, such as a cork 
jacket, water-wings, etc. 



UP-TO-DATE METHODS IN SWIMMENG 311 

When you are able to handle yourself, whether with 
the dog-paddle or breast-stroke, you may go on to the 
trudgen and crawl, which are the best and most modern 
strokes for racing or any other kind of swimming. 
They are the least tiring, and enable one to cover 
greater distances and in faster time. 

There is no difference in the arm-drive of the two 
strokes; the dissimilarity rests in the kick. As the 
movements of arms and legs should be mastered sepa- 
rately, the early stages of both are the same. I suggest 
to begin once more with land exercises. For this, bend 
forward until the upper body is almost horizontal, and 
put both arms over the head, hands side by side, palms 
down, fingers and thumbs closed, elbows and wrists 
slightly raised. You have, of course, decided ere you 
start whether it is more comfortable for you to swim on 
the right or on the left side. Now lower the top-arm, 
straightening it as it moves, and let the hand pass under 
the very center of the body ; when it is about to touch 
the thigh, relax the muscles entirely, and begin to drive 
the other arm over the same course, immediately lifting 
the elbow and hand of the top-arm above an imaginary 
water-line, and carrying it thus, high, to original posi- 
tion. While the top-arm is driving, roll gently from 
it, twisting the head toward the top-shoulder, and fill- 
ing the lungs through the mouth ; then, as the under- 
arm pulls, roll back flat on your face, turn head down, 
and empty the lungs through the nostrils. 

For the scissor-kick, which goes with the trudgen, 
lie down on some support, advance the top-leg the least 
bit — straight at the knee, but limp, holding the foot 
as if standing on tiptoe — and bend the under-leg nearly 
to kneeling attitude; then snap them sharply together. 
Both legs must swing back and forth at right angles to 
the body, not sidewise. Follow these instructions later 



'312 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

in the water. Tackle the arm movements first, stand- 
ing on the bottom and bending down ; then hang on to 
something, stretch out on your side, and work the kick. 
Finally, combine the two, actually swimming, and time 
them so that your legs move apart very slowly as the 
top-arm is half-way in its drive, and then bring them 
together vigorously as the same arm reaches the thigh. 

The crawl kick is an up-and-down thrash of the lower 
legs, from the knee. The full width of the thrash 
should not measure more than eighteen inches betw^een 
the feet, and the heels only should appear above water. 
Keep the toes pointing back, and do not exhaust your- 
self by making the action too swift. 

I strongly advise your waiting to enter the competi- 
tive field until you have perfected yourself in every 
branch of the game. Many a swimmer endowed by na- 
ture with every qualification for becoming a champion, 
has failed solely owing to too much eagerness. You 
may attain partial success even without the proper 
grounding, but you will never reach the front rank. 

Acquire form before you take part even in a novice 
race. Check the natural inclination for speed work, 
and devote all your energies to the development of a 
correct stroke. Take easy stretches, paying attention 
to making every movement perfect, and so gain knowl- 
edge of pace- judging, which is the fundamental prin- 
ciple of competition, and can be learned only through 
long, intelligent, conscientious work. You should in 
no circumstance do any racing until you can swim a 
good furlong without tiring and without losing form. 

Give early and careful study, too, to starting and 
turning, which play an important role. Often, in 
sprinting, a good or bad dive has decided the victory, 
and many an event has been won by ability in turning, 
particularly in pool contests. 




THE RACING START 

Endeavor to strike the water pretty 
flat 




FRONT VIEW OF THE CRAWL 

The arms should bend under the body 
at the elbow 




SIDE VIEW OF CRAWL WHILE THE RIGHT ARM IS DRAWING 
AND THE LEFT RECOVERING 



UP-TO-DATE METHODS IN SWIMMING 315 

A diving-start should be made with good spring, ob- 
tained by rising well on the toes and swinging the arms 
hard ; endeavor to strike the water pretty flat, so that 
you will not sink more than a couple of feet, and hold 
the head high, the back arched, and the legs straight 
and rigid, that you may come at once to the surface and 
have good momentum. 

To turn quickly, adjust your stroke as you approach 
the wall, so that you reach it with top-arm leading. 
Just as you are about to spin around, roll on your side, 
take a good breath, and throw back your head and 
shoulders, turning always in the direction opposite to 
the one of your top-arm. The twist given to your body 
in arching the back will throw you half around, and you 
complete the circle by resting the hand on the board and 
giving a quick push. As you come about, you back- 
water with the under-arm, to bring the hips close to the 
wall, then thrust the arms ahead, take a good shove off, 
and let yourself glide. When the impetus wanes, re- 
sume swimming, but do not use the legs until the second 
stroke. 

In taking up training, guard against overwork, and 
always bear in mind that it is speed work that makes 
men stale. Make your time trials few and far between, 
and aim at producing strength, stamina, and condition, 
by means of easy swimming in good form. You will 
be surprised to find how quickly this method increases 
your speed. 

Avoid, altogether, smoking, alcoholic beverages, 
charged waters, and stimulants. Eat heartily of plain, 
wholesome food, such as beef, lamb, mutton, fresh veg- 
etables, and fruit, and do not be afraid of adding a few 
extra pounds to your weight. A little surplus flesh is 
beneficial, rather than otherwise, for it gives buoyancy, 
reserve power, and resistance to the chill of the water. 



3i6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Above all, give yourself plenty of sleep; go to bed 
early, and have your eight hours of rest nightly. Sleep 
is Nature's own best remedy to replenish the depleted 
tissues and furnish a fresh supply of energy and vi- 
tality. 

Let moderation be always your motto in swimming, 
as well as in athletics of all kinds. Lead a wholesome, 
normal life, and you will not fail to make your mark 
as a swimmer. 



XVII 

THE SWIMMING EVENT 
By George C. Lane 

YOU fellows are worse than a lot of dubs at this 
swimming business. You act as though you 
were about as fond of the water as a dormitory 
kitten. If I had known you were n't going to make 
any better showing than this I would have done my 
best to keep swimming off the list of events at the meet 
next week." 

" That 's a perfectly lovely swimming-suit you Ve 
got there, Williams," continued " Professor " Whit- 
man, " but it won't help you any. There 's no hope for 
you unless you cut out that fancy stunt of yours and get 
down to real swimming. As for you, Jenkins, if you 
ever have any ambition to acquire speed, you 've got to 
forget that twist you give your neck and shoulders 
every stroke you take ; there 's too much lost motion 
there. Reach out, man, reach out! Never mind ap- 
pearances. Get speed ! Make every stroke tell for all 
there is in you. 

" Come on ; that 's enough for this afternoon." 
The swimming squad, comprising four boys, picked 
from a class of twenty candidates to represent Watkins 
School in the aquatic event at the big annual track-meet 
with their ancient rival, Fleetwood Academy, had been 
receiving their regular coaching and discipline from the 
school's athletic instructor, " Professor " Whitman, the 
very youthful-looking coach, just graduated from col- 

317 



3i8 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

lege, who was also one of the Latin teachers at the 
school. (The athletic instructor was always *' Profes- 
sor " at VVatkins.) 

The boys returned to the gymnasium, a fine stone 
building at the lower end of the campus and within a 
few hundred feet of the lake shore, leaving the in- 
structor sitting on a bench near the spring-board in a 
rather gloomy frame of mind. 

A boy, who had been w^atching the practice from the 
bank of the lake, approached, made a noise as though 
seized with a cough, and broke in upon the brown study 
of the instructor. 

" You don't seem to think much of your class in 
swimming, Professor Whitman." 

"Eh, what's that?" asked the professor, without 
seeming to pay much attention to the boy. 

" I say, you don't seem to have much hope for the 
school, as far as the swimming event is concerned." 

*' Hope ? No, I should say not ! Why, Fleet- 
wood '11 have them left at the first stake. They have n't 
a chance, even. And a great deal depends on this event, 
too. The schools are pretty evenly matched in the 
other events; and if we want to come out ahead this 
year, w^e 've got to take that quarter-mile swimming 
race. It 's hardly too much to say that the fate of the 
w'hole meet may hinge upon this race, Willis." 

" I should have called Williams a good swimmer," 
said Willis. 

" Well, yes, but he 's not good enough. The trouble 
w^ith Williams is he 's trying to do too much. I can 
count on him for the hundred-yard and the hurdle, but 
I wish he 'd stay out of the swimming. I 'm trying to 
make him see it without telling him in so many words. 
He 's a rather stuffy lot, you know, as a swimmer." 

'* Give mc a place in the swimming event, will you, 



THE SWIMMING EVENT 319 

pkase ? " Willis blurted out the request with a sudden- 
ness which, coupled with its apparent absurdity, 
brought the instructor to his feet. 

Professor W'hitman looked the boy over with a 
glance that seemed to take into account his weight, his 
strength of arm, his chest measure, and the probabilities 
of endurance that might be in him. Willis, standing 
there before him, with his long slim legs and a great 
quantity of wrist and ankles beyond his clothes, was 
uncomfortable under the scrutiny. He looked at the 
professor through his nickel-rimmed spectacles, which 
overstudy had made necessary ever since he was twelve, 
and waited, scarcely daring to hope for the answer. 

"Why, Willis, my son, who'd have thought it? 
That you, the grind of the class, should have athletic 
aspirations fluttering in your bosom ! Now, if you had 
asked to compete in a contest for making a translation 
of the Odvssev, or writing: a thesis on the fourth dimen- 
sion, I should not be surprised ; but you, Willis, the little 
old man of his class, asking for a place in the swimming 
race! \Miat made you?" asked the instructor, ban- 
teringly. 

Willis, instead of answering, turned with flushed face 
and started away. 

" I say, Willis ! " called the instructor. " Just a min- 
ute; come back here." 

Willis returned to his position near the bench. 

" I beg your pardon," said the instructor. " It was 
only that you surprised me so completely. I 'm really 
glad to welcome new material — that might be promis- 
ing," he added dubiously. " Can you swim? " 

"Swim? Do you think I'm crazy altogether?" 
Willis replied warmly. 

" Now, now, not too fast ! I don't mean to ask can 
you keep afloat, but can you swimf Can you start out 



320 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

with a dozen or so, all straining every muscle in their 
bodies and working with every bit of strength and wind 
they 've got to reach the finish first — can you start out 
with them and stayf Can you plug away at it, with 
some husky chap, or perhaps several of them, just a 
little ahead of you whom you know you can't pass un- 
less you do a little more than possible? Can you plug 
away at it imder these conditions and make good? 
You know you '11 break your heart trying to find out 
what it costs to make good. Second prize is the booby 
prize for you, if you are in earnest. You can't take 
any second prize and make good." 

*' Yes, sir ; I know it, sir. If I enter, I shall go after 
that first prize," said Willis, enthusiastically. 

'' You '11 go after it, yes ; but will you get it ? " 

Professor Whitman believed he saw promising stuff 
in Willis, so he had been saying all he could to discour- 
age him, this being his method of shaping his material. 

" I '11 finish first or bust ! " Willis replied, grinning. 

" Well, show up for practice with the boys at five- 
thirty to-morrow afternoon, then." 

" But that 's the trouble ; I can't come then. You 
see, sir, I 'm waiting on table in Pratt Hall, and I can't 
get away at that time." 

" When do you expect to do your training, then, I 'd 
like to know? " asked the instructor. 

*' Before breakfast, sir. That 's my only chance." 

" Well, well ; I did n't know you could get a boy in 
Watkins up before breakfast," remarked Professor 
Whitman, jestingly. 

'' Look here, Willis," he continued, " I guess I 've 
been making rash promises. You've got a few min- 
utes, have n't you ? Just run and slip into your swim- 
ming togs right now and give me an idea of what you 
can do." 



THE SWIMMING EVENT 321 

Willis complied with alacrity. There were only a 
few persons about the lake, a fact which Willis was 
glad of for the reason that he did not want his aspira- 
tions known just then and this opportunity for personal 
instruction was just what he had hoped for. 

" Now let 's see what sort of start you can make." 

Willis plunged a header from the long float on the 
edge of the lake, came to the surface a few seconds 
later, and started off splendidly. 

" Too deep ; don't dive too deep. You lose time ; and 
time, you know% is of the essence. Also, don't try that 
stroke at the start. It 's the best you 've got, I suppose, 
so save it for the finish ; yoa'U need it then. Take the 
breast stroke most of the way ; you '11 do well with it, 
I should say. That shake of your head when you come 
up to the surface looks very effective ; but leave it out ; 
it takes time. You 're training for a swimming-race, 
you know, and your business is swimming." 

The professor continued his criticisms and advice for 
a quarter of an hour; then assuring Willis that he 
would give him a place, he turned to leave, with new 
hope for the swimming contest. 

" And one word more, Willis. I think I can trust 
you — yes, I 'm sure I can trust you with this word of 
caution." The instructor hesitated a moment. " Un- 
less I 'm mistaken in you, Willis, you 're the sort that 
might overdo himself. Permanent injury may be 
caused by over-exertion, and especially in a swimming 
contest. There 's a limit to what the heart can do ; it 's 
a terrible grind, Willis. And mind you use your head. 
Be sure you know your limit, and, in the final effort, be 
sure that you hit it squarely — no more, no less ! " 

Three days later, and two days before the big meet 
with Fleetwood, the names of the contestants in the 
different events were posted in the gymnasium. 



322 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

The moment that WilHs had dreaded had arrived. 
As he was passing through the gym, on the way to the 
dining-hall, a group of fellows stood scanning the pro- 
gram. 

'' Now listen to this ! " said one of them, excitedly. 
" Swimming contest : Williams, Jenkins, McElroy, 
Watson, — and Willis ! " 

" W^illis ! Willis ! " echoed the others. 

" It 's a misprint," declared Williams, laughing. 

" Sure, a misprint," they all agreed. 

"There he goes now! I say, Miss Walter Willis; 
does this mean you? " demanded Jenkins, severely. 

Red to the ears with anger and embarrassment, Willis 
was dragged over to the bulletin-board. 

" Is that you? " asked Jenkins, again, indicating Wil- 
lis's name with questioning forefinger. 

" Yes, sir, that 's me," said Willis. 

" Aliss Weaker Willis, the human fish! " cried Wil- 
liams. 

" * And all the water that he had w^as in his mother's 
pail,' " another quoted irrelevantly. 

" The only swimming I ever heard of his doing was 
crossing the Hellespont with Leander in his dreams the 
other night," said McElroy, who was Willis's room- 
mate. 

" Oh, you Leander ! " howled the group in unison, as 
W^illis, breaking away from his tormentors, ran from 
the building. 

The new entry in the swimming event was the chief 
topic of conversation the rest of the day. 

The morning following, the unheard-of happened: 
Willis flunked his Latin recitation. As he was strug- 
gling hopelessly through the bewildering lines the boy 
next him whispered : 

" Swim out, Leander : you can do it ! " 



THE SWIMMING EVENT 323 

" Wade in ! " another encouraged. 

But it was no use ; he failed miserably, and " Profes- 
sor " Whitman understood. 

The instructor had noticed that Willis had been the 
object of much fun-making since his name had been 
posted, but he only smiled. " Let them tease him^" he 
said to himself; " it all helps." 

Field day and the annual battle between Watkins and 
Fleetwood arrived, a perfect day in early June. The 
colors of the contending schools bordered either side of 
the campus in brilliant display; class and school yells 
went up enthusiastically and almost continually as the 
events of the day proceeded. Each number of the pro- 
gram was contested with a zeal which was shared alike 
by participants and onlookers; and the results of the 
different events showed how evenly matched were the 
track teams of the two schools. 

The first for the hurdle, the quarter-mile run, the 
broad jump, and the shot-put went to Fleetwood ; while 
the high jump, the mile run, the pole-vault, and the 
hundred-yard dash, the last won handsomely by Wil- 
liams, were captured by Watkins. In the matter of 
points Fleetwood had scored two more than Watkins ; 
and so, as the coach had predicted, the fate of the meet 
depended on the swimming contest, which counted five 
for the winner and two for second place. 

The lake, swept by a strong west wind for its entire 
length, a matter of over a mile, was choppy and prom- 
ised difficult swimming. The course, which began and 
ended at the float at the western end, was marked off 
by flagged stakes, dividing it into four sections of prac- 
tically one hundred yards each. At the turning-point, 
which marked half the distance, a boat was moored, in 
which two of the judges were stationed. On each side 
of the course were boys of both schools in gaily rigged 



324 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

canoes and rowboats ; but by far the biggest crowd had 
taken positions on each side of the float at the finish. 

The ten contestants ran across from the gymnasium 
to the accompaniment of loud yells of both encourage- 
and ridicule. 

McNamara, who had won last year for Fleetwood, a 
rather fat young person, was the center of attention 
everywhere as the squad approached the lake. 

A score of calls greeted the contestants when they 
took their places at the edge of the float, waiting for the 
pistol. 

As it happened, Willis was placed next to McNamara 
on the Fleetwood side of the float. The contrast in 
build caught the crowd at once. 

" Are you ready? " the voice of the starter broke in 
upon the shouting. 

Crack! They were off! 

Willis, profiting by his recent instructions, had taken 
a shallow dive that brought him to surface sooner than 
all the others and in advance of them. He began at 
once the business of swimming so that every stroke 
would tell ; not even looking to one side, he kept his eyes 
fixed on the white flag that marked the turning-point, 
and swam for it. Using his long steady breast stroke 
with calm, calculating perseverance, unmindful of the 
fact, as announced by the Fleetwood crowd, that Mc- 
Namara had taken a splendid lead, with Williams and 
Jenkins crowding him hard, he maintained his rate of 
progress unruffled. 

At the finish of the first quarter he held a place well 
to the rear of the procession along with two Fleetwood 
boys. 

" Get a move on there, Doctor! " they called to him 
from the canoes. 



THE SWIMMING EVENT 325 

If he heard, he gave no indication that he noticed 
them. 

Wilhams and Lewis, several yards ahead, with Jen- 
kins traihng close, fought hard for the lead, alternat- 
ing their method of progress by the use of the breast 
stroke and the crawl. They worried and fussed each 
other in a manner that was beginning already to tell 
against them, with the result that Willis cut down the 
distance between himself and them by several feet. At 
the turn Willis held fourth place, Jenkins third, Wil- 
liams second, and McNamara, ten yards ahead of Wil- 
lis, was still heading the procession. 

Now came the fight. Down the course, with the 
wind favoring them, it had been comparatively easy; 
but with the trip back, bucking a chop that sprayed their 
faces at every stroke, the real work commenced. 

The yelling had ceased. This swimming event now 
promised to be of more interest than had been expected. 

Steadily Willis plugged away, holding the reserve he 
knew he would need for the finish. McNamara had 
turned over on his back and was kicking for wind. 
Williams forged ahead for the lead. 

" Ah, there he is ! Now he 's coming ! Side-track 
yourself, there, Slats, before Hanson runs you down! " 
shouted a Fleetwood boy from the side-line. 

And then abreast of Willis, with a splendid stroke, 
one of the Fleetwood squad, who had been lagging, 
came driving on. 

" Oh, yes, there 3^ou are, indeed ! " said Willis to 
himself. " I was wondering when you were going to 
show up." 

The two swimmers looked in each other's eyes a mo- 
ment, and each read the same salutation — the challenge 
to the finish. 



326 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

It was the hardest thing that WilHs had done yet, to 
let this man go past. 

" He is using up some of his reserve to do it, though. 
Use your thinker, old boy," WiUis told himself. 
" Steady, now ! " 

It was a splendid race, and to the onlookers it seemed 
as though almost any of the ten had a chance. Wil- 
liams, half-way between the turn and the beginning of 
the last quarter, was being crowded out of the lead by 
this new peril, Hanson, the hope of Fleetwood and its 
pride. McNamara, who had already done his best, had 
given way grudgingly to both Williams and Jenkins; 
and Willis was surely cutting down the space between 
him and the leaders. The others pressed hard on Wil- 
lis, and two of them managed to pass him in a spurt. 
But Willis did not give them a thought. 

" Cling to him, Williams ! Hang on, Jenkins ! Stay 
with him! " encouraged the Watkins boys, whose hope 
was still with Williams and Jenkins. 

But they were both splashing now^ and blowing hard, 
while Hanson, a yard in advance, was cutting through 
the chop with a telling persistence that maddened them. 
Inch by inch he drew away from them while Fleetwood 
yelled, jubilant. 

The last marker had been reached, w^ith Willis 
matched beside Jenkins and Williams and Hanson, and 
a hundred yards between them and the finish. 

" Now, Willis, let out for all there is in you! " He 
was still doing his ow^n coaching. 

Changing at once from the breast stroke to a long 
overhand reach with his right, he began the spurt — a 
spurt which he knew must last until he had reached the 
very limit of his endurance. W'ith the first half-dozen 
strokes he had left Jenkins and Williams behind and 
seemed fairly to leap through the water. 




HIS HAND TOUCHED THE FLOAT, THE FINISH-LINE, 
TWO STROKES AHEAD " 



THE SWIMMING EVENT 329 

Abreast of Hanson in the next few strokes, he forged 
ahead, while his breath came in short, fierce gulps that 
did not satisfy. 

Not a sound from the tense crowd that lined the 
course and waited the finish at the float. Not a word 
of encouragement was offered these two, for they did 
not need it. 

Hanson, recovering splendidly from the surprise of 
Willis's fine display of reserve force, regained his posi- 
tion a little in advance. On they came with a speed 
never seen at Watkins, almost neck and neck, a con- 
tinually increasing distance making between them and 
those behind. But that little space between Willis and 
Hanson — could he never overcome it ? Willis asked 
himself. He had never counted on this — this grind- 
ing, unremitting exertion. 

" More than possible ; you 've got to do a little more 
than possible." Professor Whitman's warning flashed 
on his brain. How true it was! How his heart 
pumped and pounded against his breast ! 

" You '11 break your heart trying to find out what it 
costs to make good. — Second prize is the booby prize 
for you, if you are in earnest." The words came back 
to him in the bitter reality of their meaning. He un- 
derstood now ; but — it was a little more than possible, 
he told himself. 

" Can you plug away at it, with some husky chap just 
a little ahead of you — always just a little ahead, and 
make good? " 

No, he could n't ! What was the use ? He was tired 
and sick. The muscles of his arms and legs begged him 
to stop ! If he could only have a second — to run the 
cramp out of his hands ! If he could only breathe ! 

Was Hanson feeling like this ? Was Hanson capable 
of doing just a little more ? he wondered. The thought 



330 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

spurred him on. With the pitiable scrap of energy that 
seemed left to him he struggled to outstrip this sturdy- 
pace-maker beside him. 

" Now, Willis ! Oh, Willis ! Get in ahead of him ! 
You can do it! " \ ♦ 

The Watkins boys were pleading with him. 

" Willis, Willis, you 've got to! " 

"Can't you see it's impossible?" He wanted to 
shout it at them ; but there was no breath left for words 
— no breath for anything. H he could only fill his 
lungs, just once I His legs — what use were they ? A 
leaden weight was pulling at his arms ; his hands would 
close, in spite of him. 

" I '11 finish first, or bust ! " It was his promise, 
could he keep it? Why had he made it, when he had 
been told it would be more than possible? Could he 
keep it ? Trying to was not enough. " The limit — 
no more, no less ! " He must — he would ! 

Gulping fiercely for one last breath to feed the final 
effort, he pounded the water to a foam with his feet and 
legs and reached out ahead with that bit of reserve, 
which, unconsciously, he had withheld for this moment. 
He seemed rather to go on than through the water. 
Four powerful strokes brought him flush with Hanson; 
six more, and his fingers touched the finish-line, two 
strokes ahead ! 

Eager hands dragged him onto the float, while Wat- 
kins went wild with ecstasy ! " Did — we — win ? " he 
gasped, as Professor Whitman bent over him. 

'' You won for old Watkins — handsomely, too ! 
And you were quite sure it was more than possible, 
were n't you, Willis? " 



XVIII 

THE boy's fishing KIT 

By E. T. Keyser 

PLOP ! " and a big fish rose just below the rock 
which jutted out in midstream. Dick proceeded 
to lengthen his line by the time-honored method 
of unwinding the reserve supply, coiled around the end 
of his pole. 

" You can't make it," said Jack ; and he was right, 
for the line was now too long for the pole to manage, 
and the attempted cast resulted in a beautiful snarl, 
which was in process of unraveling when Charley, 
armed with a lancewood rod, a reel, and a line no thicker 
than one strand of Dick's, appeared, from around the 
bend, with the cheery hail of " What luck? '* 

" Four sunnies on the string, eighty-seven knots in 
the line, and a whopper out there where I can't reach 
him," was Dick's inventory of results. 

Charley laughed. " The trouble is that you fellows 
are trying to catch fish who have learned to keep out of 
reach with tackle that would have done the trick when 
our grandfathers were boys and fish were so plentiful 
that they lay all over the stream. You can't go after 
twentieth-century bass with a bean-pole and chalk-line, 
and expect any but the babies not to know all about 
what you are trying to do." 

" Nonsense ! " sputtered Jack. " Did n't people use 
bean-poles before fishing-rods were invented? " 

"They did," admitted Charley; "and the Indians 

331 



332 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

killed deer widi arrows, centuries before the white man 
knew that America was waiting to be discovered. But 
any one who waits to get within bow-shot of a deer to- 
day, would be pretty hungry before he dined on veni- 
son." 

" All right," said Dick, " I can't get that bass. Sup- 
pose you try." 

Charley measured the distance with his eye, brought 
the end of his leader up to the rod-tip, and made a cast. 
The reel purred and the bait shot out across the place 
where the fish had risen. Charley reeled in ; no result. 
Again ; still a blank — and the other boys grinned. 
Once more : a swish, a whirl, and something was fast. 

" You 've got him ! You 've got him ! " shouted the 
audience. Charley reeled in stolidly, sometimes allow- 
ing the fish to make a dash, sometimes checking the 
rush, and, in a minute, a pound-and-a-half bass was 
flopping in his landing-net. 

" You won out," admitted Dick. " Now let 's see 
what you used to do it." 

Charley handed over the rod. " It 's lancewood," he 
explained ; ** also, it is nine feet long, because I do so 
much fishing from the shore. If I did more boat work 
and more bait casting and less still fishing, it would be 
from seven and one-half to eight feet in length ; but this 
size helps me to drop the line over bushes, and poke into 
close quarters where I could not cast. The reel runs 
smoothly because it is steel pivoted and a four times 
multiplier. The line went out without sticking or kink- 
ing because it was a hard-earned dollar and a half that 
I put into the tackle dealer's change drawer for it. An 
ordinary oiled silk line would have served all right, for 
still fishing or trolling: but I wanted one line to do for 
all my fresh-water fishing. That 's why I use this 



THE BOYS' FISHING KIT 333 

quadruple reel instead of an ordinary double multiplier, 
which would cost less and be just as good for everything 
except casting." 

" But what is the idea of the leader?" asked Jack, 
who had been examining the outfit with considerable 
respect. 

** Just to keep the wiser fish from realizing that the 
bait and I had any business connection until they had 
taken a taste," answered Charley. " It cost only a few 
cents, and often makes all the difference between an 
empty creel and a fish dinner." 

" Speaking of creels," interrupted Dick, " don't you 
think that a string is just as good? " 

" I do not," w^as the emphatic reply. " Look at that 
water-logged assortment on your own string, and then 
look at my catch " ; and he poured three bass and a pair 
of good-sized perch out on the grass. " I rap my fish 
on the head as soon as landed, and cover them with 
grass or leaves, and they are firm and fresh when I 
reach home. This canvas creel folds up and goes into 
my pocket when empty, and can be laundered after 
each trip." 

" I 'm converted to the fancy tackle, after what you 
did to-day," said Dick. " How much does a layout like 
yours cost ? " 

" Oh, not very much," laughed Charley. " Why ? " 

" I 'm thinking of getting one like it," admitted the 
former champion of the " simple-life rig," as he called 
it. 

"Where are you going to use it most?" asked 
Charley. 

" Up on the lake. Father bought a boat last week, 
and there are some big pickerel up there and a few 
bass." 



334 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

** If you intend doing much boat fishing," said Char- 
ley, " you had better get a rather different rod from 
this of mine." 

"What's the matter with it?" asked Jack. "It 
looks all right to me, and the way it brought that bass 
into your net has made me wish that I had one just 
like it." 

" It is all right," was the answer ; " but it is best for 
the very kind of work which I use it for. / have n't 
any boat up on the lake, and do most of my fishing 
along this stream. Some people say that it 's played 
out, but I have found a few rocks, logs, eddies, and 
bars where the fish like to lie and feed, and I work them 
over each trip. Fish are like people, and have their 
places of business, which, in the fishes' case, is eating. 
What is more, they like some places better than others, 
and form a sort of waiting list for the best spots. That 
is why there will probably be another bass hanging 
around that rock out there in a- couple of days. Now 
I 've already told you why I like this rod for stream 
work ; but it does not follow that I would have chosen 
it for fishing from a boat. It 's too long and unhandy 
for that purpose, and will not cast as well as a shorter 
and stiffer rod." 

" You 've caught enough fish for one day," said Dick. 
" Sit down on that nice soft log and tell me zvhat kind 
of a rod to get. Any one who will point out faults in 
his own outfit gets my confidence from the start." 

Charley arose, bowed, and said : " You honor me. 
I will now proceed with the subject on the table. If I 
were you, I 'd get an eight-foot three-piece lancewood 
rod, or a seven-and-one-half-foot steel one. With 
either you can do better casting than with my rig, and, 
at the same time, they will be long enough to use for still 
fishing and skittering. A shorter rod, like that which 



THE BOYS' FISHING KIT 335 

the western bait-casters use, would cast farther, but 
would not be nearly so good for still fishing, and an 
impossibility if you wanted to skitter." 

'' What 's the matter with split bamboo? " questioned 
Jack. '' My cousin says that there is nothing that can 
touch it for action," and he looked as if he w^ere ex- 
tremely wise. 

" Nothing can touch it," admitted Charley, " if you 
are prepared to be * touched ' first, to the extent of at 
least ten dollars, and to spend a couple more, cheerfully, 
each time that you smash a tip. There is nothing to 
equal a good split bamboo, but you must make sure that 
it is a good one, not a cheap affair which will unglue 
and fall apart just when the fish begin to take an inter- 
est in the bill of fare you are offering them." 

'" Ten dollars ! — Ouch ! " observed Dick, wdth some 
feeling. " How much will the other kinds cost? " 

" From two and a half to six dollars will buy a lance- 
wood or steel rod that is really good, and will last as 
long as you take proper care of it, which includes oiling 
the ferrules of the wood rod and the entire length of the 
metal one each time that you put it away after use — 
also refraining from standing either up against the 
house while you are eating dinner." 

" How about reels? " 

" Well, this one of mine is what is called a sixty-yard 
reel — it actually carries one hundred yards of No. 6 
minnow casting line. For use on the lake, an eighty- 
yard reel will give you a better trolling length. But be 
sure to get one with steel pivots. This will allow cast- 
ing, and while it costs a little more than an ordinary 
aft'air, will give much better service. I remember 
wearing out a cheap reel in one afternoon's casting. 
Either of the rods which I 've suggested may be used 
for weakfish and snappers, when you try your luck in 



336 



THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 



salt water, but remember you must substitute a nine- 
thread twisted linen line for your braided silk one, for 
this purpose, otherwise the salt water will rot your 
fresh-water line. For salt-water use, a short tip, to go 
into the last joint of the steel rod, will let you use a 
heavier sinker than could be handled with the regular 
light tip. And don't forget a folding landing-net with 
a jointed handle. You cannot lift your fish out on a 
real rod, as you have been doing with that young tree," 
and Charley pointed an accusing finger at the about-to- 
be-discarded bean-pole. " You '11 find the half-length 
handle just right for boat use, and the full-length a real 
fish saver when you are angling from the shore or a 
dock." 

" Why can't you fellows come up to the lake Satur- 
day and try out the new boat? " said Dick. " I 'm go- 
ing to ask Dad to help out my bank-account enough to 
get one of the outfits you 've been telling about." 

" We accept," said Charley. " But if the results of 
my toil are to sizzle in the pan this evening, I must be 
moving homeward." 

" W^ait a minute, and we '11 be with you," said Dick, 
throwing the bait-can over with a 
splash. '' Where 's your worm 
container? " 

" Chained fast ! " laughed 
Charley, turning around to show a 
tin box fastened to his belt. " I 
graduated from the ' tomato-can 
class ' last season. They 're too 
much trouble to find and carry. I 
got a square tin with a hinged top 
and large enough to get my hand 
into, bored four holes in its back with a wire nail, and 
fastened two belt straps to it with four round-headed 




Bait-box. 



THE BOYS' FISHING KIT 337 

brass paper fasteners. Now the can is always with 
me, and I carry back the surplus bait and turn it loose 
in the garden. Come along, I 'm hungry." 

" The live-bait supply has proved unequal to the de- 
mand upon it," observed Dick, with much regret. 
" Jack, why did n't you catch enough to last? " 

" Don't imagine that, while you were waiting for 
lunch to be tied up and letting Charley wind that new 
line of yours on the fine new reel, I was idle. I spent 
two hours on the job, and only fifty-six of those min- 
nows were tame enough for me to cultivate their ac- 
quaintance." 

" Oh, well, never mind about that now ! " said Char- 
ley. *' Here are a trolling-spoon, a floating bait, and 
a phantom minnow. The still-fishing contest is now 
adjourned while we troll around the lake for an unwary 
pickerel or so. You fellows take your pick of the baits, 
and I '11 take what 's left. It 's anybody's game, and 
they are bound to take one of the assortment." 

The trio were spending Saturday on the lake, trying 
out the new boat and new tackle at one and the same 
time, and had been enjo3ang pretty good luck until the 
minnows gave out. Now Charley's artificial baits were 
to save the day. 

Along the line of weeds, a pickerel yielded to tempta- 
tion and grabbed the spoon. Another attached himself 
to the phantom a little later, then another for the spoon. 
The wooden bait was unaccountably ineffective, until it 
was discovered that it was tastefully festooned with 
weeds. When these were removed, it speedily caught 
up with the procession, and soon the creels were well 
filled. The only drawback was the tendency of the 
lines of Dick and Jack to kink, from the twisting of the 
troll, and Charley explained how this might be pre- 



338 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

vented by hanging a small bass casting sinker between 
the two swivels which separated the leader from the line. 

"If it were not for the truly awful job of getting 
minnows, the lake would be all right," said Jack, on the 
way home. 

" We can settle that easily enough,'' was Charley's 
reply. " We '11 knock the sides from a soap box and 
bore a six-inch hole in one end. Then we will tack 
copper fly screening over the sides, put a screening fun- 
nel into the six-inch hole, bait the affair with bread 
crumbs or chopped meat, and sink it in the river or 
brook over night. Next morning, it will be full of live 
bait. We can hide it in the bushes near where the min- 
nows are." 

" You said something about drying the line," said 
Dick. " How do you manage it ? " 

" Easy enough," said Charley, rummaging in his 
pocket and fishing out a pencil and an envelop. 
" Here 's the plan for a home-made line-drier, and one 
where the line will not touch a particle of metal, either. 

" All that you will need are four of the large red 
spools upon which heavy linen thread is wound, a strip 
of wood one-half inch thick, thirty-one and one-half 
inches long, and one and one-half inches wide, and ten 
flat-headed brass screws, each about an eighth of an 
inch in diameter and three-quarters of an inch in length. 

" Saw the wood into four pieces, as shown. Ai is 
twelve inches long. Bi and Ci are each five and one- 
quarter inches long, while A2 is nine inches in length. 

" Screw Bi and Ci on Ai, as shown in Figure H, 
their ends flush with the ends of Ai, and with a space 
of one and one-half inches between them. At each 
spot marked D, bore a hole and set in each a wooden 
post which will fit the holes in the spools quite snugly. 
Three of these are to come flush with the tops of the 



THE BOYS' FISHING KIT 



339 



spools, but one is to be one inch longer, to serve as a 
handle for winding. Cover the posts with glue and 
push on the spools, removing surplus glue as it squeezes 
out. Bore holes at E to take a short stout wire nail. 
When A2 is set across Ai, at right angles, the strips Bi 



/ \ 



/ \ 



A 2 



]^it 







A2 O £ 







■dinr 



t 




Jl 



Bl 


, 


CI 


Al 




^l^in.-.^ 5^in ^ 


^ ■ ^/i^ili, ' > 


" 





^ CI (V) 






• tZin. 



and Ci keep it in place, and make all the spools level 
with each other. Drive the wire nail through at E, and 
nail the whole arrangement to a fence, a clothes-post, 
or any other convenient support. By holding the reel 
in the left hand and winding the drier with the right, 
the line will soon be transferred. 

" After using, remove the wire nail, pull A2 out of 
socket, and lay on top of Bi and Ci, parallel to them. 
The spools of the shorter strip will fit in between those 
on the longer, and, fastened together with a rubber 
band, the whole arrangement occupies very little room.*' 

" Come around to-morrow, and we '11 build one while 
Jack is wrestling with the minnow trap," said Dick. 



XIX 

A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 
By George M. Johnson 

LESTER ROBERTS burst into the room where 
his father was busily perusing the evening 
paper. 

"Oh, Dad!" he called; ''come out and see Jim's 
motor-cycle ! He 's just got it." 

Mr. Roberts leisurely followed his excited son out 
to the front yard where a number of lads were gazing 
in mingled envy and admiration at a second-hand 
motor-cycle. James Farnum, who lived across the 
street, and to whom the machine belonged, was trying 
— with little success, to be sure — not to look proud. 

" Well, James, so you 've actually become a motor- 
cyclist ! " remarked Mr. Roberts. " I suppose there 
will be no peace and quiet in the neighborhood from 
now on." 

" Ain't she a beauty ! " exclaimed Lester, gazing with 
glowing eyes at the motor-cycle, which was really very 
much the worse for wear. 

"Ahem ! " rejoined Mr. Roberts, not caring to com- 
mit himself on that particular question. " Suppose 
you give us a demonstration," he added, addressing 
Jim. 

The latter was only too willing, and. with the dignity 
which befitted the owner of a motor-cycle, proceeded 

to climb into the saddle. 

340 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 341 

** Hold on ! '* cried Mr. Roberts ; " your back wheel 's 
not on the ground. You can't ride it like that ! " 

" He 's only going to warm up the engine," several 
boys were kind enough to explain in chorus, clearly 
shocked at the denseness of the ignorance which Les- 
ter's parent displayed. 

Jim pedaled the machine vigorously, but nothing 
happened. 

" Tickle the carb," advised one of his admirers. 

Jim " tickled the carb " and tried again, with more 
gratifying results. A volley of sharp, pistol-like re- 
ports rang out, irregular at first, but coming more 
steadily as the engine warmed to its task. Then Jim 
throttled down the motor, released the clutch, kicked 
the stand up to its position, and soon was riding about 
in the street. Evidently the machine behaved well 
enough, even though lacking in good looks. 

" Say, Dad," said Lester wistfully, after the exhibi- 
tion was over, " I wish you 'd buy me a motor-cycle." 

" I 've been expecting that," was the answer, " and, 
while I dislike to disappoint you, I will not buy a 
motor-cycle. They are dirty, noisy, dangerous, ex- 
pensive, and a menace to the health of the rider ! " 

" I did n't know you 'd ever owned one. Dad," re- 
marked Lester very innocently. 

" What do you mean by that ? " demanded Lester's 
sire, a trifle sharply. 

" Why, you know so much about 'em, seems as 
thought you must have ridden a good lot; that 's all." 

" One does n't need to ride a motor-cycle to learn 
about it," stated Mr. Roberts confidently. " You can 
see that they 're dirty, and even a deaf person can tell 
that they 're noisy enough to wake the dead." 

" Only when the muffler 's open," declared Lester. 
" They 're quiet enough if the muffler 's closed, and 



342 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

most fellows ride with it closed all the time. They 're 
not dangerous either, except when you race 'em." 

" We need not continue this discussion," affirmed 
Mr. Roberts. " There is not a single first-class argu- 
ment in favor of my buying you a motor-cycle, and 
we may as well let the matter rest." 

" Dad 's got a grouch on," thought Lester mourn- 
fully, as he left the room. '* Wonder what 's the mat- 
ter." 

It was his mother who gave the boy light on this 
question. 

" I hope you won't keep asking your father to buy 
you a motor-cycle just at present, Lester," she said, 
somewhat anxiously. " I know you 'd like one, and 
perhaps you can have one when you 're older, but that 
big case of father's does n't seem to go just as he had 
hoped, and it worries him most of the time. He did n't 
mean to be cross just now. It 's only because he 's 
been working so hard that his nerves are on the ragged 
edge." 

Of course Lester promised not to say anything more 
about the motor-cycle, though he felt that he wanted 
one more than anything else in the world. But Jim 
was his particular chum and was very generous in 
sharing the new possession with Lester. Thus the lat- 
ter had many opportunities to ride a motor-cycle, and 
each ride left him with a keener desire to possess one 
of his own. 

About nine o'clock one morning, as Lester was dig- 
ging worms in preparation for a fishing trip, his mother 
called him. From her voice the boy knew that some- 
thing was wrong, very much so. 

Mrs. Roberts was just hanging up the telephone- 
receiver as the boy darted into the room. 

" Your father made a terribly careless mistake when 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 343 

he left for the city this morning! " she gasped. '' That 
important case is on trial to-day, and he took the wrong 
batch of papers. The right ones are on his desk up- 
stairs, and he wants you to catch the 9:15 train to the 
city and get them to him as soon as possible. He said 
he could have the trial delayed a short time." 

The two ran to the desk, but at first the missing 
documents were not to be found. Even as Lester 
finally buttoned them inside his coat, the train whistled. 
Mrs. Roberts turned pale. 

" Oh dear ! " she moaned. " Now we 're too late. 
\\^hat will your father do? " 

Then Lester had an idea — Jim's motor-cycle. 

"Don't worr}% Mother! I'll get 'em there!" he 
shouted, and off he ran as fast as his legs could carry 
him. 

In about three words Lester explained the dire 
emergency to Jim. 

" Go ahead, old boy ! " cried the latter. " The ma- 
chine 's out in the barn," and he ran to help start the 
engine. 

Two minutes later Lester was headed for the city, 
seventeen miles away, flattened down on the gasolene 
tank of Jim's motor-cycle. He had never ridden so 
fast before; in fact, he had never realized that the 
motor-cycle was capable of such speed. His hat blew 
off", but he hardly knew it. The wind cut into his face 
like a blast of sand grains; his eyes smarted and 
streamed, but Lester kept the throttle open and thanked 
his lucky stars that the road was level. That old rat- 
tle-trap was certainly a true blue machine — regard- 
less of appearances — what one might call an example 
of " handsome is that handsome does." 

Belvin's Corners marked the half-way point to the 
city, and Lester tore through in a cloud of dust, easily 



344 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

doing forty-five miles an hour. Mr. Cyrus Belvin, 
who had plenty of time for the various duties of store- 
keeper, postmaster, notary public, game-warden, and 
village constable, rushed from his place of business as 
the roaring motor-cycle — for Lester had kicked the 
muffler open, both as a warning and to gain a little 
more power — flashed by. Cyrus had no liking for 
motor-cyclists and dearly longed to arrest one for 
scorching, but all in vain. They were usually out of 
sight before the slow-witted constable realized they 
were coming, and, as in this instance, all he could do 
was stand in the road and shake his fist at the vanish- 
ing rider. 

About two miles beyond the Corners the motor- 
cycle, which had hitherto run like a top, missed a few 
explosions, and its speed slackened noticeably. Then, 
without further warning, the engine stopped dead. 
Lester dismounted a httle unsteadily, for he was not 
used to such riding, and looked doubtfully at the ma- 
chine. He put it up on the stand and tried to make 
the engine run by pedaling it, as Jim usually did, but 
not a single explosion rewarded his efforts. 

" Well is n't that the limit ! " exploded Lester wrath- 
fully. 

The motor-cycle did not seem to hear; at any rate, 
it vouchsafed no reply, while the discomfited rider 
scratched his head in perplexity. The information 
Lester possessed about motor-cycle engines was not 
what one could truthfully term exhaustive. Lie had 
not the slightest idea as to the proper thing to be done 
in such an emergency. In a vague sort of way he 
understood that the spark came from the magneto and 
the explosive mixture from the carburetor; that the 
inlet-valve opened to admit the fresh charge, while 
the exhaust-valve provided a mode of escape for the 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 345 

burned gas. But just how these mysteries were 
brought about was very much of a sealed book to the 
boy. 

The distant throb of a motor-cycle came to his ears 
as a faint interruption to this discouraged revery, and 
presently the machine itself appeared around a bend. 
On seeing Lester standing disconsolately beside Jim's 
motor-cycle, the rider threw out his clutch and put on 
a brake, coming to a stop close by, the engine purring 
sweetly. How envious that sound did make Lester 
feel! But then his eyes fairly glistened as they took 
in the new-comer's motor-cycle, a brand-new two-speed 
twin, equipped with electric headlight, electric horn, 
speedometer, and other desirable features. 

** What 's the matter?" inquired the rider of this 
splendid mount. "Stalled?" The speaker was a 
very likable-appearing young fellow indeed, dressed in 
a neat riding-suit of olive green. 

In a swift flood of words Lester poured out the 
story of his trouble, explaining how important it was 
that he get to the city without loss of time. The 
stranger stopped his engine, leaning the machine against 
a convenient tree. 

" I guess we can fix you up all right in a minute or 
two," he remarked confidently. 

That young man seemed to know just what to do. 
First he rapped his knuckles against the gasolene tank. 

" Plenty of gas," he muttered. " Tank must be half 
full. Compression 's good," he went on after a brief 
test, " so valves are in fair shape, at least. Carb 's got 
gas in it, too." 

Then he disconnected the magneto-cable from the 
spark-plug. 

" Pedal the engine over," he directed Lester, mean- 
while holding the end of the cable close to the plug. 



346 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

The boy did as suggested, and a husky blue spark 
jumped across the narrow gap, 

" You see the magneto 's dehvering the goods all 
right," was the verdict, " and so your trouble must be 
in the plug." 

With a few deft twists of a wrench Lester's good 
Samaritan removed the spark-plug from the cylinder- 
head. 

" There she is ! " he cried, and showed Lester how 
a thin deposit of burned cylinder oil had formed be- 
tween the points, thus causing a short circuit. A few 
seconds sufficed to clean the plug and replace it, when 
the engine ran as well as ever. 

" Say, but you must know a lot about motor-cycles ! " 
w^as Lester's admiring tribute. The entire time con- 
sumed had been but three or four minutes. 

"Oh, that was an easy one!" laughed the other; 
" but almost always, when an engine balks, it 's noth- 
ing worse than a dirty plug, or some little thing like 
that." 

" Well, I can't say how much I 'm obliged to you," 
declared Lester gratefully. 

" Don't mention it ! " cried the stranger heartily. 
"Good luck to you!" and he was off down the 
road. 

Fortunately for Lester no other hard luck was lying 
in wait for him. Fie found travel conditions in the 
city difficult to one of his inexperience, but neverthe- 
less managed to get through with no mishap, even 
where traffic was thickest. 

The first person Lester saw, as he entered the large 
open hall of the court-house, was his father, standing 
nervously by a telephone, watch in hand. 

" Good boy! " exclaimed Mr. Roberts, at sight of his 
hatless, dusty son. " You 're just in time! there was 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 347 

not another minute to lose ! " and, seizing the papers, 
Mr. Roberts fairly ran towards the elevator. 

'' Gee! " mused Lester, as he retraced his way down 
the massive marble steps, '* I reckon Dad was in some 
hurry, from the way he acted. But he did n't hustle 
as fast as I did, at that." 

With the big weight of responsibility lifted from 
his shoulders, Lester felt quite care-free and not a lit- 
tle self-satisfied. There was no occasion for further 
hurry, and accordingly he waited to regale himself with 
a couple of chocolate ice-cream sodas at a convenient 
drug-store. They served very well to wash the dust 
from his throat. 

During the next few days Mr. Roberts was so busy 
that Lester saw very little of him, and therefore had 
no opportunity to describe to him the various adven- 
tures of that wonderful ride. Of course he told Mrs. 
Roberts about it as soon as he got back. 

" And gee. Mother ! you ought to have seen that 
motor-cycle ! " was Lester's conclusion to his narrative. 
*' It was a regular lallapaloozaler ! " 

*' Lester ! " gasped his mother. " Where did you get 
that horrible word? " 

" And that fellow that started me going again was 
a dandy chap, too," the boy went on, not heeding the 
interruption. 

*' It certainly was very kind of him to stop and help 
you as he did," agreed Mrs. Roberts. " Not every 
one would go to so much trouble for a boy he had never 
seen before." 

" Oh, that 's the way all motor-cycle riders do," an- 
swered Lester wasely. " They never go by a fellow 
that 's stalled without stopping." 

Shortly after dinner one day, about a week later, the 
Roberts' telephone rang. Lester answered it. 



348 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

" That you, Les? " said a voice. " Well, come down 
to the shop. Got something I want to show you." 

The speaker was Joe Parker, who ran the local sport- 
ing-goods store. 

Lester lost no time in obeying the summons. Mr. 
Parker had just finished uncrating a new motor-cycle 
(his up-to-date little store represented a popular make 
of machine) and was even then in the act of straining 
gasolene into the tank. The motor-cycle was just like 
the one Lester had described in such glowing terms 
to his mother. 

" Some boat, eh, Les? " remarked Joe with enthusi- 
asm. 

" You bet ! " was all Lester could say. 

With hungry eyes he watched while Joe fixed up the 
machine for the road. How he longed for even a 
short ride on that wonderful motor-cycle! 

*' Tell you what, Les," said Mr. Parker, with a con- 
fidential wink. " S'pose you ride the bus around this 
afternoon. Show it to your dad to-night and see if 
you can't get him to buy it for you." 

Lester almost jumped out of his shoes. Then his 
heart sank, for he knew the price of that luxurious 
model. 

" I 'm afraid dad won't," the boy said mournfully; 
then he added hastily, as if fearing that Mr. Joe Parker 
would repent of his generous offer, " but I 'd like 
mighty well to try it, anyway! I'll be awfully care- 
ful, too," and Lester lovingly passed his hand over the 
beautiful, satiny enamel of the gasolene tank. 

" Sure, I know you will," rejoined the agent af- 
fably, " or I would n't let it go out." 

Joe quickly showed Lester how to manage the new 
machine, which was the same make as Jim's, and a few 
minutes later the boy started away. Without exception 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 349 

that afternoon was the happiest in Lester's Hfe. He 
had no idea that his father would buy the motor-cycle 
for him, but that could not detract from the pleasure 
of the moment. 

When he finally rode back home to supper, Mr. 
Roberts was on the front porch reading the paper. 
Naturally he manifested considerable surprise at see- 
ing his son in possession of such a vehicle. Lester 
briefly stated the facts in the case, as Joe had proposed 
it. 

"Um!" mused Mr. Roberts. "What's the price 
of a machine like that ? " 

" Three hundred dollars," whispered Lester, feeling 
horribly guilty. 

" What! " shouted his father. " Why, that 's a lot 
of money ! I can't afford to pay three hundred dollars 
for a motor-cycle ! " 

" That 's just what I told Joe, sir,'' returned Lester 
quite frankly, " but he told me to go ahead and ride it 
just the same." 

" Well, you 'd better take it back after supper." 

" Yes, sir," rejoined the boy. 

That was exactly what Lester had known would 
happen, but he did feel very much disappointed never- 
theless, for he had entertained a faint hope that the 
motor-cycle would be his. He wished Joe had selected 
a less expensive machine, for a first-class motor-cycle 
could be bought at a far lower figure. 

Lester purposely waited until dark before returning 
to the shop, so that he could enjoy the pleasure of 
riding behind the brilliant beams thrown by the power- 
ful electric searchlight. Joe did not seem discouraged 
at the loss of the sale. 

" Look here, Les," he suggested, with one of his 
confidential winks. " You keep that machine for a 



350 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

day longer, and sec if your dad don't change his mind. 
I want you to own that motor-cycle." 

*' What 's the use? " protested the boy. *' I guess I 
know dad well enough to know when he 's made up his 
mind. He 's not buying any motor-cycles right away.'* 

"Well, can't I take a chance on it if I want to?" 
demanded Mr. Parker, banging his fist forcefully down 
on the saddle. *' You don't stand to lose anything, do 
you? You get to ride the machine, and if your dad 
does n't come across, bring it back, and there 's no hard 
feelings. What 's the matter with that offer ? 
What?" 

Of course no one could complain of such an offer, 
and, when Joe put the matter as he did, Lester really 
could not resist longer. Therefore the motor-cycle 
again went back to the Roberts home, where it found 
comfortable quarters in the woodshed. 

"Did you bring that motor-cycle back with you?" 
demanded Air. Roberts, as Lester entered the room. 

" Yes, sir," replied the boy meekly, " but I could n't 
help myself. Joe would n't let me leave it there." 

" Well ! " grumbled Air. Roberts. " I must say that 
this Joe Parker is a very persistent sort of chap. If 
persistency were the only (juality essential to success, 
he ought to be very far removed from failure." 

Lester hardly knew what to make of that remark 
and so said nothing, but his mother suddenly looked up 
from the magazine she was reading. 

" It 's a shame to tease the poor boy so ! " she de- 
clared, *' and I 'm going to tell him. Lester, that 
motor-cycle is yours. Your father paid Mr. Parker 
for it this morning, and between then:i they fixed up 
this way of fooling you. I guess you '11 forgive them, 
though." 



A FIRST-CLASS ARGUMENT 351 

For a moment Lester was absolutely dumb. Then he 
found his voice. 

" B-but — you — you said you could n't afford to 
pay three hundred dollars for a motor-cycle!" he 
stammered. 

" Well, I could n't," answered Mr. Roberts. " I 'd 
just paid that much for one, and another would have 
meant six hundred dollars." 

" But I thought you did n't approve of motor-cycles, 
Dad," said Lester slyly, after the family had been talk- 
ing the affair over for ten or fifteen minutes. 

" Well," replied Mr. Roberts judicially, " to tell the 
truth I did n't. I said that you could n't show me a 
first-class argument in their favor. Then, after you 
had done so well in convincing me that I was alto- 
gether wTong, the only decent thing for me to do was 
to buy you a first-class machine. Don't you agree wuth 
me in that? " 

And Lester did agree — most heartily. 



XX 

AQUAPLANE RIDING 

By E. J. Morris, M.D. 

THE youngsters at my summer home on Lake 
George, New York, have a sport called 
" aquaplane riding," which, in a manner, im- 
itates the surf riding of the Hawaiians. 

These Lake George young people, spending a great 
portion of their day on and in the lake, have become 
through environment more or less amphibious, just as 
all other youngsters do who have similar opportunities. 
Of course there is no surf at Lake George; it gets quite 
rough there at times, but you could hardly compare the 
waves on an inland lake to the surf of the ocean, and 
therefore the effect of the surf has to be imitated by 
towing the surf-board behind a motor-launch. 

As used at Lake George, the aquaplane (which is 
only another and more high-sounding name for the 
surf-board of the Hawaiians) is about eight feet in 
length and eighteen inches wide, and is made from thin 
wooden strips, each about eight feet long and tongued 
and grooved, placed side by side until the desired width 
is gained, when they are held together by three battens, 
one at either end and one in the middle. Through the 
batten on one end are bored two holes, through which 
passes the rope by which it is towed. About eighteen 
feet of towing rope is used, one end being run through 
the holes and fastened in a long loop, the object being 
to have the towing rope as nearly on a line with the 

352 



AQUAPLANE RIDING 355 

middle line of the board as possible. The long part of 
the loop is on the under side of the board, which gives 
the front end of the aquaplane a tendency to rise in 
rushing through the water. When finished, the board 
is covered with a strip of canvas, in order to afford the 
rider some sort of grip for the feet. 

In practical use, the board is thrown into the water 
behind the launch, while lying to, and the rider climbs 
on the board, lying flat upon it. The launch is started, 
and when it has attained its speed, the rider rises to his 
knees, and then to a standing position. It is a matter 
of balance to be able to stand upon the board, and any 
slight deviation to either side generally means that the 
rider goes splashing into the water and gets a good 
ducking. 

\A'hen that event occurs (and it does occur fre- 
quently), the rope is cast loose from the launch, and 
the rider swims to the aquaplane and rests quietly upon 
it until the launch can turn back to pick him up. 
Therefore there is little danger in the sport, though I 
would say emphatically — and shall impress it upon 
you by repetition — that a boy or girl must be an expert 
swimmer and thoroughly at home in the water before 
trying the game. Those who do attempt it, moreover, 
should be old enough to " keep their wits about them." 

Of course there is a knack in doing the trick, but the 
knack seems to come easily, and would appear to con- 
sist in standing as nearly as possible on the middle line 
of the board with one foot in front of the other. I 
notice, too, that the riders stand a little behind the 
center of the board, so that the front end is raised a 
little out of the water; but, after all, it is a matter of 
maintaining one's equilibrium, just as in riding a bi- 
cycle. 

One other point is that the launch used for towing 



356 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

should be fairly speedy, those used at Lake George 
having a speed of ten miles and upward an hour. The 
faster the launch goes, the easier it is to keep one's 
equilibrium, provided the launch does not exceed about 
fifteen miles an hour. At higher speeds the wash from 
the launch makes riding difficult. 

Some of the riders become very expert, and one 
young man was particularly so. By throwing his 
weight in just the proper direction, he could make the 
board run from one side to the other of the wake of 
the launch, and it seemed almost impossible to dislodge 
him by making sharp turns or any other trick of steer- 
ing. On one occasion he rode the board fully clothed, 
except for his shoes and stockings (as, of course, the 
water partly washes over the board, even at highest 
speed). Some one dared him to do it, and he did. 
The aquaplane was pulled in by its towing rope until it 
was close enough to the launch for him to step upon it, 
and after he reached his position, the towing rope was 
paid out from the launch until board and rider were 
at its end ; having ridden as far as he wished, a distance 
of about a mile, the board was again pulled to the stern 
of the launch and the rider climbed aboard, nothing wet 
except his feet and ankles. 

I have spoken of the boys as doing the riding, but, to 
be perfectly exact, I should tell you that the girls also 
are among the skilled riders. Altogether, it seems to 
be " great sport." 

The question naturally arises, especially in the minds 
of the " older boys and girls " (the parents of the rid- 
ers), as to the danger of the sport, and I confess that 
I myself looked at it a little dubiously until I saw, with 
my own eyes, that nothing happened to any one, even 
when the attempt to ride was made in rough water. 
Spills there were many, but they are part of the game. 



AQUAPLANE RIDING 357 

Still, there are precautions which ought to be taken in 
order to make the sport perfectly safe. 

First, I would repeat, with emphasis, that the boy or 
girl who attempts to ride an aquaplane should be an 
experienced swimmer and thoroughly at home in the 
water J and should know how to handle himself, or her- 
self, in case of the spill, w^hich is sure to come sooner 
or later, especially until the rider becomes an expert. 
The boy who has to be cautious in a canoe, or who does 
not know what to do in case it is upset, is not a suf- 
ficiently expert swimmer, and should by no means at- 
tempt the feat of riding the board. 

Secondly, the towing rope should be fastened by 
only a single turn around the stern cleat of the launch, 
so that it can be immediately cast off when the rider 
falls; and one of the party on the launch should be 
stationed at the cleat, watching the rider, holding the 
free end of the rope in his hand, so that he can 
cast off the rope in the shortest possible time, im- 
mediately on seeing the rider fall into the water. In 
this way the aquaplane comes to rest but a ver}^ short 
distance from the swimmer, and it is a matter of two 
or three strokes for him to gain the board, where he 
rests until the launch can turn and pick him up. If 
the towing rope were made fast to the stern cleat, so 
that it could not be readily cast off, the launch would 
take the aquaplane for some distance from the fallen 
rider, and the boy might have to make a swim of it be- 
fore he could gain a place to rest; but by casting off 
the line as soon as the rider falls, there is only a very 
short distance to be covered before the rider can safely 
rest, lying flat on the aquaplane, which will support him 
in this position, though it zi'ill not do so, remember, if 
he tries to sit or stand iipon it. 

Thirdly, there must be a sufficient crew on the 



358 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

launch, in addition to the " man at the cleat," to ma- 
na^uver it. This crew should attend strictly to the bus- 
iness on hand, and all skylarking is entirely out of 
place. (The best place for a skylarking crew is on 
shore, anyhow.) When the "man at the cleat " sings 
out that the rider has fallen, the helmsman puts the 
boat about and brings her to the aquaplane, the towing 
rope is taken aboard, and the game begins again, unless 
the rider is tired and some one else wishes to take his 
place, in which case the new rider goes overboard from 
the launch, swims to the aquaplane, climbs on it, the 
former rider is taken into the launch, and the sport is 
on once more. With these simple precautions, I have 
seen no danger in the game. 

I understand that an aquaplane is manufactured by 
one of the sporting-goods houses, but any boy can 
easily make one for himself at very small cost. The 
ready-made aquaplanes differ slightly from the one I 
have described in the attachment for the towing rope. 
But the riders tell me that the board is not quite so 
easily managed. 



XXI 

THE TRIUMPH OF " DUTCHY '* 
By J. Sherman Potter 

HIS whole name was Hendrik van Gelder 
Schmitt, but as the pupils of the Conrad High 
School found that too much for their unaccus- 
tomed tongues he was called " Dutchy " for short, and 
this title he bore throughout his whole sojourn in the 
school. This was his first year at Conrad, but he had 
had a good training in a Canadian high school before 
he came to the States, and as a result was put in the 
senior class. Here he became the chief source of 
amusement for the pupils, and at times even for the 
teachers. His faulty English and the frequent fun- 
poking of the pupils were often the occasions of out- 
bursts of Anglo-Dutch which sent the class into convul- 
sions of uncontrollable laughter. Still, he was an ex- 
cellent scholar, and showed such good judgment in all 
questions of weighty importance in school matters that 
before he had been there two months he was unani- 
mously elected the vice-president of the senior class 
and was defeated in the competition for presidency by 
only a few votes. 

With the close of the foot-ball season that of hockey 
began, and it was not long before the rinks were cov- 
ered with pupils trying to make the team. 

"Vat are de rules for playing dis game?" asked 
Dutchy one afternoon while watching the players driv- 
ing the puck across the ice. 

359 



36o THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

" Oh, you can't trip anybody up, nor hold any one, 
nor get offside. But you can shove with your shoul- 
ders all you want in a scrimmage." 

Dutchy had spent several winters in Holland before 
he came to America, and was considered there a good 
skater. He improved his ability in that direction while 
in Canada, and now he resolved to try for the Conrad 
hockey team. Stepping up to Langton, who was cap- 
tain of the hockey team, he announced his intention of 
trying to make the five. 

Dutchy got his skates, which were ones he had 
bought in Amsterdam, and joined the group of skaters, 
who greeted him warmly. Then he entered enthusias- 
tically into the sport, and soon made it evident that 
he was the fastest skater and most brilliant player in 
the school. Every one w^as astonished ; from that mo- 
ment he became a sort of hero in the school and the 
boys ceased to tease him. 

At last the time came for the final trials, before the 
team was picked. Two sides were formed, with 
Dutchy and Langton their respective captains. Then 
for two hours a desperate struggle raged, supported by 
brilliant playing on both sides. Four of the six goals 
were made by Dutchy ; and he was the first one picked 
to represent the Conrad High School Hockey Team. 
This happened two weeks before Christmas, and on 
that day was to be fought a championship game with 
Conrad's old rival, Marston Academy. 

" I tell you what, boys," said Langton, just before 
the game, *' this is not going to be a cinch. In Alex- 
ander, that Indian over there, Marston has a * crack-a- 
jack ' player. Dutchy, you '11 have to look out for 
him." 

" Veil, I vill dry to, but perhaps he hat petter look 
owut also." 



THE TRIUMPH OF " DUTCHY " 361 

A great crowd of shivering people had gathered 
along the banks of the Conrad River Christmas morn- 
ing to watch the great match. Here and there 
throughout the surging mass, could be seen the colors 
of the rival schools — Conrad's red and white, and 
Marston's blue and green. 

At nine o'clock the two teams skated into their posi- 
tions, the referee placed the puck in the center, blew 
his whistle, and the game began. For a time the rub- 
ber was kept about the center of the rink; then Alex- 
ander suddenly came out of the scrimmage with the 
puck in front of his stick, and, with head low and 
skates flashing, started for Conrad's goal. A shout of 
applause rang out from the Marston supporters. 
Dutchy sped after him like the v^ind, but could not 
overtake him, although the distance between them was 
but a yard. The Indian was a match for him in speed, 
and try as hard as he could, Dutchy could not lessen 
that yard. Nearer and nearer to the goal drew Alex- 
ander, and now he prepared to drive the puck into it. 
The Marston people were wild with delight and threw 
their caps into the air in a frenzy of excitement. But 
suddenly, with a burst of speed, a mighty lunge for- 
ward, and a quick thrust of his hockey-stick, Dutchy 
caught up with Alexander, and secured the puck. In 
the tussle for it, however, both players tripped or stum- 
bled and sprawled along the ice, and the Conrad goal- 
tender drove the puck out of danger. How the Con- 
rad rooters shouted for joy! Cheer after cheer arose 
for Dutchy, but he got up, unmindful of the acclama- 
tions from a thousand throats, and joined his team. 

Again the game raged near the center, and then it 
was Langton who started forth from the melee with a 
clear field. Alexander overtook him and captured the 
puck. Again a ringing cheer rose from the supporters 



362 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

of the blue and green. But Dutchy was equal to the 
emergency, and after a fierce but short struggle be- 
tween the two, aw^ay the Conrad champion sped, with 
the whole Marston team at his heels. He rapidly in- 
creased the distance between them and him, however, 
every second nearing the goal. Langton took care of 
Alexander, and so, with no one near him, Dutchy, with 
a well-directed drive, sent the puck between the goal- 
tender's legs. Red and white flags filled the air and 
the Conrad cheer resounded on every side, ending with 
" Dutchy ! Dutchy ! Dutchy ! " 

The elated members of the Conrad school jumped 
up and down and waved their hats for joy, while 
Dutchy, with a flushed face, received the enthusiastic 
congratulations of his fellow-players. So ended the 
first half. 

In the second half, Marston entered the game with 
a new energy. Slowly the puck, by a series of splendid 
plays, was driven toward the goal, when, with a bril- 
liant dash, Alexander darted out from among the 
surging players and succeeded in making a goal. The 
score was tied, and now only a short time remained to 
play. 

" We Ve got to beat them, Dutchy," said Langton to 
his friend ; " last year they drubbed us, and now we 
ought to turn the tables. We have got to, that 's all 
there is to it." 

" Veil," replied the Hollander, " dat means much 
more vork dan pefore, I t'ink." 

Again the game began, and as time went by without 
either side scoring, it looked as if the game would end 
in a tie. With grim determination Dutchy played, and 
seeing his chance for the third time that day, made an- 
other of his brilliant plays. Escaping the melee, he 
put his whole strength into his speed and started for 



THE TRIUMPH OF " DUTCHY " 363 

the Marston goal. Langton managed to keep up with 
him, warding off Alexander, now close behind. Then 
Dutchy fell in a heap on the ice, his skate having struck 
a twig. A groan burst forth from the spectators, but 
it changed to a cheer when Langton was seen with 
lightning speed continuing with the puck. A little 
later he drove it for the goal, but the goal-tender 
stopped it squarely with his stick and sent it far behind 
Langton. 

By this time Dutchy had got up and was just in time 
to halt the sliding rubber and again start for the Mar- 
ston goal. Instantly he w^as the center of a fierce, 
short struggle. How he ever came right through that 
mass of players without once losing the puck is, and 
probably always will be, one of the mysteries. But he 
did it, and desperately, too, he skated for that Marston 
goal. Langton, with the rest of his team, blocked all 
their opponents except the dauntless Alexander, who 
eluded the Conrad players and drew nearer and nearer 
to Dutchy. The poor fellow was so bruised from his 
fall and so tired that he could not skate as fast as at 
first. But he was now close to the goal, and swinging 
around, with a tremendous " whack ! " he sent the puck 
for the second time into the goal, just before the Indian 
overtook him. In another minute the game closed. 

The scene that followed was simply pandemonium 
let loose. Dutchy, now the hero of town and school, 
was carried home on triumphant shoulders and then 
three times around his own house. Then, after giving 
all the school yells, plentifully mixed with Dutchy's 
name, the last one ending with his whole title, Hendrik 
van Gelder Schmitt, his proud schoolmates left him to 
himself and departed. 



XXII 

TRAINING FOR INTERSCIIOLASTIC ATHLETICS 

By G. W. Orton 

INTERSCHOLASTIC athletics have undergone 
wonderful improvement in the past fifteen years, 
due in great measure to the systematic way in 
which the large colleges have encouraged the sport. 
Not long ago in New York in an open meet there were 
several hundred school-boys entered in the events. 
vSimilar large entry lists can be secured in many other 
large cities, w^hile every high school and academy, no 
matter what its size, can boast some form of scholastic 
athletics. Many schools employ no professional in- 
structors, especially in track athletics, and, because of 
the increasingly large number of young athletes who 
take part in these events, the following suggestions are 
offered. 

It often happens that a young athlete gets into bad 
habits of form that are practically impossible to over- 
come later on, and a first-class athlete is spoiled, des- 
tined to remain among the " second-raters." More 
frequently, through improper training and the desire of 
the trainer to get all that is possible out of a boy, irre- 
spective of his future as an athlete, the boy develops 
into a champion school-boy, but makes no further ad- 
vancement when he is graduated into college or club 
athletics. 

The first care of the school athletic trainer should be 

364 



TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 365 

to remember he is training boys, and that he has not 
full-grown men under his charge. The growing boy is 
capable of a great deal of work, but this should not be 
made too severe, or he will lose the nervous force 
which is at the bottom of all success in any sort of 
athletics. The exercise should be made as pleasant as 
possible, and the young athlete should not be allowed 
to specialize, or at least not in the same measure as the 
full-grown athlete. It is all very well for the young 
athlete to have his favorite event, to have one in which 
he is most proficient ; but he should also have a certain 
amount of sprinting, distance-running, hurdling, jump- 
ing, and especially exercise in some form of light gym- 
nastics, such as the chest-w^eights, Indian clubs, or 
dumb-bells. This will give him the necessary reinforc- 
ing or auxiliary muscles he w^ill need later on, when, as 
a college man, he makes a real specialty of some event. 
By giving the young athlete exercise that tends to all- 
round development, the trainer will be fulfilling the ob- 
ject of scholastic athletics, — to send the young man 
forth from school fitted for college not only in mind 
but also in body. In their great desire to " win," many 
trainers lose sight of this real object of athletics in any 
school. They must have " winners " at any cost, and 
they force the young athlete to such a degree that, 
though in school he does some very creditable perform- 
ances, he never is heard of afterw^ard, because his nerv- 
ous force has been impaired. This is the great danger 
toward which competitive scholastic athletics is always 
drifting, and it is the duty of principals to see that the 
future health of the boys intrusted to their charge is not 
forever lessened through over-anxious athletic instruct- 
ors. 

The principal also should be most careful in his 
choice of a trainer, who, because he is older, can exer- 



366 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

cise very great influence over the boys' ideas of fairness 
and true sportsmanship. 

With just one remark on diet, we shall turn our at- 
tention to training proper. The young athlete need 
not undergo any system of diet. He should merely 
be cautioned against eating too much pastry, etc. ; and 
three or four days before a meet the trainer should 
order him to give up everything but plain, healthy food, 
putting aside pastry, candy, and all sorts of highly 
seasoned viands. If he attempts to put the boy under 
too strict a regime, the latter will either go to one ex- 
treme or the other. 

SPRINTING 

No form of track athletics is as popular as sprinting, 
mainly because the American is a natural-born sprinter. 
This is shown by the fact that as a nation, we have so 
many very fast men in this event. The start is of 
prime importance in a short dash. The best start is 
the college start. In this the athlete practically takes 
the position of a cat when ready to spring. He gets 
on the mark, and after fixing his feet so he can dip 
down comfortably on his knees, waits in this position 
for the word to " get set." When the word is given he 
straightens up the rear portion of his body. In this 
final position he should rest steadily, and should have 
the weight so distributed on his feet that at the sound 
of the pistol he can spring forward immediately with 
all the power of his legs and thighs. In this start the 
heels and the entire leg should be kept at right angles to 
the finish, so that all muscles of the leg can be got into 
the first drive from the mark. The hands should be 
on " scratch," and they should be the chief means of 
keeping the body steady, but still ready to get away at 
once when the pistol fires. The young sprinter should 






.♦ > • 



i^HA-- 




JAAIES E. MEREDITH, WHO HOLDS THE WORLD S RECORD OF 
I MIX. 52 1 SEC , FOR THE HALF MILE 




D. J. KELLY, HOLDER OF THE WORLD'S RECORD FOR 

1 00-YARD DASH 

His time. gJ seconds, made in 1906. was equalled by H. P. Drew in 1914 



TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 369 

also remember that the first step is only part of the 
start. He should summon to his aid every muscle of 
his body during the first four or five strides, so that he 
can get into motion in the shortest possible time. 
Arthur Duffy of Georgetown, one of the greatest 
sprinters, owed his success not only to the fact that he 
was a quick starter, but also to his power to get up 
speed in his first four or five strides. 

The matter of form in sprinting is of great impor- 
tance. The athlete should have every movement di- 
rected forward. There should be no extra movement 
of the feet describing curves behind, nor any shorten- 
ing of the stride. The body should work perfectly 
with the legs, and it should be held slightly forward, 
so that all the power can be put into running. 

In training for the sprint, the young athlete should 
first make sure of his start. This can be obtained in 
only one way, — by practice. He should get off his 
mark, running only fifteen or twenty yards, but being 
careful he is doing it in good form and at his highest 
possible speed. Speedwork in any kind of running, 
however, should not be tried until the athlete first has 
had some preliminary training of a general character 
to get him in condition for active training. After 
making several starts, he may go through to sixty or 
seventy yards, but he should not go the full one hun- 
dred yards at top speed oftener than twice a week. 
He should, however, cover the hundred yards at three- 
quarter speed every day. 

If the sprinter is naturally a fifty-yard runner he 
should get more of the full one hundred yard work 
than if he is slow at the first fifty. In the latter case 
the boy should be all the more careful in practising 
starts and in running thirty or forty yard dashes. 

If a sprinter also wishes to run the two hundred and 



370 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

twenty yards, which is usually called a sprint though it 
is not properly such, he should lengthen out his work ; 
but he should be just as careful of his start as though 
he were merely training for a forty-yard dash. 

The sprinter should run against the wind in training, 
because he is likely to have to do this in a race. In a 
real race, the sprinter should never look over his shoul- 
der to see where his opponents are, as that takes his 
mind off his running, and involuntarily he slackens 
speed. The sprinter should put all his mind on his 
w ork, and should run into the tape at top speed. Many 
a race has been lost at the tape because of letting up at 
the finish, thinking the race won. In sprints an inch 
often decides a race; there is no time for looking 
around or slackening speed. 

After taking the regular starts, a sprinter should fin- 
ish his work in the training quarters by exercise for 
the back, abdominal muscles, the arms and the chest. 
Occasionally, after his sprints, he should take a jog, 
running a half-mile or so, but easily, and merely as a 
form of exercise. 

MIDDLE-DISTANCE RUNNING 

The quarter and half mile are called the middle 
distances because the first is not a sprint, and the latter 
is faster than the real distance gait. In the former a 
certain amount of speed is necessary, with staying 
power a secondary quality ; while in the latter the stay- 
ing power must be reinforced by an ability to set a 
speedy pace. The quarter-miler must have speed, while 
the half-miler cannot get along without staying power, 
no matter how great his speed may happen to be. The 
most successful quarter-milers have been those who 
have been able to do close to ten seconds for the hun- 
dred yards, and, together with this ability, have staying 



• TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 371 

qualities allowing them to maintain a high rate of speed 
throughout the entire four-hundred-and- forty yards. 

Thus, in training for the '' quarter," the athlete first 
should make up his mind as to which characteristic he 
most lacks. If he has staying power, he should put 
most of his time on speed work, while if he has natural 
speed, he should lengthen out his work so that grad- 
ually he is able to go the entire distance without falter- 
ing. As a general rule it is well for the quarter-miler 
to pay much attention to his speed, for he cannot have 
too much of that quality; but he also should be sure to 
run the full distance often enough to guarantee that he 
can maintain a stiff pace the entire distance. 

In training for the " quarter," a schedule might be 
adopted as follows : Every day the athlete should run 
four or five thirty- or forty-yard dashes at full speed, 
to gain quickness and an ability to get away from the 
mark the instant the pistol is fired. This is very neces- 
sary, as on most tracks the " quarter " starts near the 
corner, and very frequently the good starter gets to the 
corner first and is not bothered, while the poor starter 
is jostled all the way around the first turn, and often 
put out of the entire race. After this speed work, the 
athlete should run two hundred or three hundred yards 
at quarter-mile racing speed. Twice a week he should 
sprint the two hundred and twenty yards at full speed. 
He should jog the quarter at fair speed almost every 
day ; but he should not have more than one trial a week 
at the full distance. 

The general form at this distance is not the same as 
when sprinting. The quarter-miler should try to get 
into a long, easy swing, and he should not " tie up " in 
his running until the very last hard spurt for home, 
when the best quarter-milers will shorten their stride if 
they have run the first part of the race at their best 



I'j2 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

speed. The quarter-mile is a punishing event, and no 
athlete can expect to run it as it should be run without 
feeling the pace during the last hundred yards. A 
conscious mental effort to keep the stride even and 
maintain form will be found to be of much use at the 
end of the quarter-mile. 

The half-mile runner should also develop a long, 
swinging stride, for the best of our half-mile runners 
have been tall men with a good burst of speed, — very 
strong, but with an easy stride. Kilpatrick, a world's 
champion in his day, and Hollister of Harvard, a for- 
mer intercollegiate record-holder, were examples of 
this. The half-miler should learn to sprint and start, 
and he should do considerable quarter-mile work. He 
should occasionally run the full quarter at racing speed, 
but more frequently he should go through the four 
hundred and forty, the five hundred yards, or the six 
hundred and sixty yards at half-mile racing speed. 
This will give him his speed, and if he runs through the 
half-mile occasionally he will develop a sprint at the 
finish. 

Here, as in the quarter, the runner should do more 
or less fast work, according to whether he is naturally 
suited to the distance. \i the half seems a little too 
long for him, he should lengthen out his work occa- 
sionally to three-quarters, or even a mile. If he has 
plenty of staying power but is lacking in speed, he 
should do more sprinting. A curious instance of this is 
furnished by the experience of Dohm of Princeton and 
Downs of Harvard, away back in the eighties. Downs 
was a quarter-miler, while Dohm was a half-miler. 
They both entered each event at the college champion- 
ships. Dohm, in his efforts to get fast enough to de- 
feat Downs at the quarter, did a great deal of sprint- 
ing and neglected his distance work. Downs, on the 



TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 373 

other hand, thought he had sufficient natural speed to 
defeat Dohm, but lacked the staying power. He 
therefore did much training at the full half-mile and 
even longer distance. On the day of the race each of 
these athletes showed the effect of this special training, 
for Dohm won the quarter, while Downs took first in 
the half. Each half-miler, therefore, should train ac- 
cording to his natural ability, developing either speed 
or staying power as he stands most in need. But in 
general it will be found safest to do considerable sprint- 
ing in addition to the necessary distance w^ork. 

DISTANCE RUNNING 

One of the prime requisites for a distance runner is 
style or form. The more easily he runs, the less effort 
he expends, the greater speed will he be able to main- 
tain over a given distance. The young athlete should 
strive to develop a long, easy stride; but he should 
never over-stride, as that is exhausting. He can, how- 
ever, develop a longer stride by careful practice. In 
long distances every inch added to the stride makes sec- 
onds gained at the finish of the race. Experience of 
our best runners proves that distance running is a 
branch of track athletics that needs much practice. 
Many distance runners have triumphed over poor style, 
even poor physique, by everlastingly keeping at it and 
developing muscles which are needed for long dis- 
tances, ^luch practice is necessary, so that staying 
qualities may be developed to the required standard. 
Most of the scholastic mile runners have made the mis- 
take of thinking that, because they are training for a 
distance event, they should do no fast work. The dis- 
tance man should go through his full distance every 
day, unless he is training for a five- or ten-mile race, 
when that is unnecessary. The mile is the standard 



374 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

distance race in scholastic sports. The runner should 
cover this full distance every day, but seldom at racing 
speed. lie should do occasional half-miles, and three 
times a week go three-quarters of a mile at mile racing 
speed. This will give him the pace for the distance 
without exhausting him. The mile runner, as indi- 
cated above, should also do some sprinting and quarter- 
mile work. It stands to reason that a man who can 
do fifty-five seconds for a " quarter " is better qualified 
to run the first quarter of his mile in one minute and 
eight seconds than the man who can do only a minute 
for the " quarter." Speed will make easier the hold- 
ing of the pace in a race, w^hile it will be found a very 
comforting quality when drawing near the finish. 

The great thing for a distance runner to remember 
is his style in the last third of the mile. Here he is 
getting tired and, if he does not think of it, wdll lose 
his form, chop his stride, and begin to fall back. A 
conscious effort to retain form will result in helping the 
runner to do so. If the runner can change his style 
during the last three hundred yards of a mile, and 
strike a quarter-miler's gait, which is really a sprint, he 
will finish much faster than if he is unable to do this. 

The distance runner, and the quarter and half-miler 
as well, should not forget to take exercises for the ab- 
dominal muscles, the back, etc., for without these the 
distance runner will hardly ever do well. 

THE HIGH HURDLE 

One of the prettiest events on any athletic program 
is the high hurdle. This is an event which needs much 
attention to form. The special attention given to form 
in this event aided by the example of such men as 
Kraenzlein, Shaw, and such famous hurdlers, has im- 
proved the standard of hurdlers very much in recent 



TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 375 

years. In the olden days a sixteen-second man was 
looked upon as a wonder; but we now have many of 
them, and this has been due to the speedier form insti- 
tuted by Kraenzlein and others, also to better training 
methods. It is necessary therefore that the young 
hurdler learn first how to get over the sticks in the most 
up-to-date manner, and then work for speed. One 
reason why many high hurdlers do not progress stead- 
ily, but remain at a certain stage without improvement, 
is because the)^ strive for speed over the sticks before 
they have mastered the form. 

In the days of Puffer and Stephen Chase, the hurdle 
race was even a prettier event to watch than it is to- 
day. Then they sailed over the sticks very prettily, 
there was a distinct glide through the air, and the mo- 
tion was stopped after each hurdle. The science of 
hurdling now demands that the athlete get over the 
hurdle with the greatest possible speed, flip himself 
over without any glide in the air, and so throw his feet 
and body that the very effort to clear the hurdle hurls 
the runner on to the next hurdle. This style, w^hile not 
so pretty from the spectator's standpoint, is much 
faster, and Kraenzlein must be given the credit for 
fathering and developing it. 

Kraenzlein in topping the sticks would use his hip as 
a swivel, and throw the first leg over the hurdle, not 
trying to get distance on the further side of the hurdle. 
His main idea was to get his leg over as quickly as 
possible. The other leg followed after, but it was not 
dragged. It was brought up smartly, so that when his 
first leg hit the ground on the other side of the hurdle, 
his other leg was in position for the next stride. This 
is the leg motion, but the young hurdler will find that in 
order to get the above result he must use his body as a 
lever and his arms as a means of balancing and pro- 



376 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

pulsion. When throwing the first leg over, the body is 
doubled up like a jack-knife, as this not only helps to 
get the leg over the hurdle, but aids the speed with 
which the hurdler gets over. The right arm is thrown 
forward if the right leg is first over; the left arm is 
then brought up with a rush while the other leg is being 
swung across the hurdle, so that when the runner hits 
the ground after clearing the hurdle he is in a natural 
position for running, and can put all his effort to get- 
ting speed between hurdles. The runner should re- 
member that when going at a hurdle he should keep his 
chest squarely facing it. The body is the lever, and 
if it is not held straight when going over the hurdle, the 
runner will not alight squarely on his feet, and will lose 
form and speed between hurdles. In this event the 
runner should plan to take but three strides between 
hurdles. 

The hurdler when practising this event should try to 
get over the hurdle as closely as possible. He will find 
that it takes very strong development to throw him over 
the hurdle in Kraenzlein's fashion, and he must pay 
great attention to his back, chest, arm, and abdominal 
muscles. The high hurdle is a sprint distance, and, be- 
sides his practice over the sticks, the hurdler should 
take regular sprint training. He should constantly 
practise starting, and get as speedy as possible. The 
hurdler should also practise until he has perfected his 
stride between hurdles so that, with his mind relieved 
of this worry, he can put all his efforts into speed. 

THE LOW HURDLE 

Kraenzlein also revolutionized low hurdling. This 
was the event in which the world's champion first came 
to public notice. His form, unlike that of his prede- 
cessors, was noticeable for the fact that there was no 



i.. C 



SI 



5 > 




TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS 379 

glide over the hurdle. He merely took the low hurdle 
in his stride, and seemed able to run nearly as fast over 
the low sticks as if he were running on the flat. That 
this was no idle dream was shown when, in his first 
year in the East, he defeated Bremer, the then world's 
record-holder, beating his record by one and one-fifth 
seconds, and putting the figures at twenty-three and 
three-fifth seconds. Kraenzlein seemed built for the 
low sticks. \\'ith him there was practically no lateral 
or side motion of the leg. When he came to a hurdle 
he merely went into the air about five inches, but 
otherwise went over the hurdle in his stride. He may 
have swung the first foot up a little farther than was 
natural when running on the flat, but he was so exact 
in '" hitting the hurdle '' that he seemed to take them 
in his stride, and apparently did not go into the air 
more than a few inches. He did not slow up at all. 
This is the style that has been copied ever since he 
appeared on the track; but it seems difficult to attain, 
because it needs a man of a certain build, and, in addi- 
tion, it is a dangerous style unless run perfectly. 
Though most low hurdlers aim at Kraenzlein's form, 
all have more or less lateral movement of the legs, and 
more or less glide over the hurdle, both of which means 
time wasted in comparison with Kraenzlein's style. 
Ever}' young hurdler should try to attain the form 
which was so instrumental in making the world's cham- 
pion the holder of all standard hurdle records. 

Kraenzlein took seven strides between hurdles, and 
this is the best number. If eight are taken that means 
the hurdler will have to learn to hurdle with either his 
right or left leg forward, as he will hit the hurdles 
alternately with right and left leg. If the young run- 
ner cannot get the seven strides, and is yet undeveloped 
as to stride, it may pay him to use nine strides instead 



o 



80 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 



of eight, as it is seldom that a runner can be found who 
can hurdle e(iually well with either leg forward. It is 
most important in this event, as in the high hurdles, 
that the aspirant for hurdle honors should practise till 
he has his stride between hurdles letter perfect. After 
he has this, and has attained good form over the sticks, 
he can go at the hurdles full speed and not waste any 
effort. 

This event is also a sprint distance, and the runner 
should take regular sprint training, but, as the two 
hundred and twenty yards hurdle is longer than the 
high hurdles, he should run two hundred and twenty 
and three hundred yards on the flat occasionally. 
Here, again, the runner must not forget to take exer- 
cise for his arms, chest, back, and abdominal muscles. 



XXIII 

COACHING THE COACH 
By Leslie W. Quirk 

IT was n't much of an argument," Coach Emerson 
confessed to his relay team. " I simply sug- 
gested that we have each runner pass the stick to 
the next, rather than merely touch hands. Rogers 
alone objected. He runs the last lap." 

None of the four to whom he was speaking offered 
any comment. 

" You see," explained the coach, " he probably fig- 
ured that if the race were very close, he could get away 
an instant before the third runner touched him." 

" Oh, you 're wrong, Mr. Emerson ; I 'm sure you 're 
wrong," said " Midget " Blake, flushing with the ear- 
nestness of his defense. " I know Rogers. He is n't 
that sort at all. He would n't even think of taking an 
unfair advantage." 

" I suppose not," agreed the coach, in a tone that 
meant nothing of the sort. " Anyhow, the use of the 
stick obviates any possibility of trickery ; that is why it 
has been adopted so widely. Now, if you are ready, 
we might as well go out to the track." 

As he turned to follow the leader from the dressing- 
room, little Blake allowed his brow to pucker into a 
worried frown. 

" I wish," he told himself, " that he understood col- 
lege honesty a little better. I 'm afraid he has seen so 

381 



382 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

much of professional sports since he graduated, that 
he has grown cynical. If he could only be made to 
recognize our point of view ! " 

But once the boy was out upon the main floor of the 
gymnasium, with its saucer-like running-track, and its 
delirium of lights, pennants, moving crowds, and 
crashing band, he forgot everything save the desire to 
be instrumental in winning the race. This indoor meet 
was to serve as the first public exhibition of the new 
relay team, but even the Midget, modest to a fault, 
knew that it could run as had no other within his mem- 
ory, unless it were last season's champions, whom they 
met to-night. To vanquish them, therefore, meant the 
elimination of the most dangerous four they would be 
asked to face in the struggle for final honors. 

Almost before he realized it, the race began. The 
band stopped suddenly, and the great crowd gasped and 
fell silent. Then a shot rang out ; and around the oval, 
slanting track ran Stone, of his team, and some tall, 
thin chap of the visiting four. Side by side they raced, 
neither able to wTest a yard's advantage from the other. 
The great room was a babel of noise. 

" Get ready, Shaw%" he heard his coach say, and 
good old Terry, who ran the second relay, walked, 
trembling with excitement, to the starting-line. The 
Midget puzzled gravely over his team-mate's display of 
emotion, and could not understand it until he recalled 
that he himself must take up the race where Shaw 
dropped it. His own cheeks reddened hotly, and his 
fists persisted in clenching and unclenching spasmodic- 
ally as he watched and waited. 

Stone swept around the last sharp curve, with his 
body leaning far inward, and held out his little block of 
wood. Still running by his side, the other man thrust 
forward a similar one. Two clutching hands closed 



COACHING THE COACH 383 

upon them, and Shaw and his opponent were off upon 
the second relay. 

Midget Blake walked out upon the track. He was 
breathing hard, and his knees wobbled treacherously. 
The great spluttering arc-lights blinded him. It was 
suffocatingly hot, too, and already his forehead was 
moist with perspiration. 

He waited seconds for the runner to reach him. To 
his tortured brain they seemed hours. At last, when 
the suspense was driving twitches through every mus- 
cle of his body, he heard the grateful thud-thud of feet 
behind him. Half turning, he held out his hand. 
But it was not Shaw. Terry had stumbled somewhere 
on one of the deceiving curves, and lost a full five 
yards. When the Midget finally had the precious 
block of wood in his hand, the runner against whom 
he was pitted was already at the first turn, his twinkling 
legs showing with grotesque clearness against the 
padded canvas of its slanting background. 

]\Iidget Blake fixed his eyes on the bobbing red head 
of the boy in front of him, and urged himself toward 
it with every muscle of his lithe legs and every beat of 
his stout heart. On the straight-away portions of the 
track, he leaned f onvard till it seemed he must fall ; on 
the curves, he leaned inward till those near the racers 
moved rapidly away in alarm. Always he kept his un- 
wavering gaze upon the stubby shock of red hair that 
flaunted before him ; and, bit by bit, it grew nearer and 
more distinct. 

His wonderful burst of speed brought the spectators 
to their feet, and set them cheering frantically. He 
did not hear them. He did not even know they had 
arisen. He was dumb to everything but the thud -thud 
of the other runner's foot-beats, and the beckoning 
auburn of his jerking head. His only thought was the 



384 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

dogged determination to reach and pass that other boy. 
If he could do that, and reach his mate, Clarke Gor- 
don, in time to give him a slight lead, he was confident 
of the ultimate result of the race. 

The time came when the red head was before his 
very face. He swerved, ever so slightly, and parted 
his lips in a grin as he saw from the corner of his eye 
that it was by his side. Then he was in front of it, 
almost at the end of his relay, with Gordon holding 
out his hand and smiling encouragement to him. By 
Clarke's side, Rogers, of the visitors, waited impa- 
tientlv. 

ml 

But just as he came within a few feet of Gordon, 
Blake tripped suddenly, and fell, plunging toward his 
team-mate from the impetus of his running. The ac- 
cident was embarrassing, to be sure, but could hardly 
have occurred at a luckier spot. Even as he sprawled 
helplessly toward Clarke, that runner took a quick 
side-step, to prevent a violent collision, and dashed for- 
ward upon the last relay of the race, with a clean lead 
of three yards. 

Midget Blake jumped ruefully to his feet, and rubbed 
the bruised spots upon his elbows. Nobody was 
watching him now ; every eye was fixed upon the two 
runners circling the track. Never were two sprinters 
more evenly matched. From start to finish, they ran 
separated by almost the precise number of inches that 
had marked the initial lead. After it was over, and 
Gordon had won, the Midget insisted that his mate's 
final advantage was three yards and one foot, but this 
extra gain Clarke solemnly denied. He had defeated 
Rogers, he said flatly, by exactly the same margin with 
which Blake had led his opponent to the finishing-line. 

Then the cheering students who had watched the 
race charged upon the contestants. Gordon was caught 



COACHING THE COACH 385 

and lifted high upon the shoulders of proud friends 
and classmates. Shaw and Stone fared no better. 
But the Midget, who had gone through all this before, 
slipped out of the door to the stairway that led down 
to the baths. He was the second runner to reach them. 
Rogers was the first. Blake grinned at him, said, 
" Tough luck! " and asked him why he was in such a 
hurry. 

" I am going back home on the ten-thirty train," 
explained Rogers. '' I think I have just time to make 
it. The other fellows, you know, are to stay over for 
the morning express." 

In the meantime, an argument had arisen in a cor- 
ner of the main room above. Banner, the little red- 
haired runner of the visiting team, had rushed aggres- 
sively to his coach, who in turn had found one of the 
officials. 

** Did Gordon have his stick when he finished? " he 
demanded. 

Near them, Emerson turned suddenly to listen. The 
official looked annoyed. 

" Why, yes, I suppose so," the latter replied. 
" There he is now; I '11 ask him." 

A minute later, he returned to the little group. 
From his look, Emerson knew what to expect. 

" Gordon tells me," the man explained, " that he 
dropped it somewhere while he was running the last 
lap." 

" He never had it," exploded Banner. " Blake fell 
just as he reached him, and forgot to hand it over at 
all. Why, I was just where I could see what took 
place." 

'' Directly behind Blake, eh ? " It was Emerson's 
cynical voice. ** Oh, this is all nonsense. The race is 
ended and won." 



386 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' It 's not ended, by any means," declared the other 
coach, angered by Emerson's positive decision, " and 
it 's not won. I shall protest." 

" You have no grounds for argument." 

" Have n't I ? Have n't I now ? Who proposed 
the adoption of the stick? Why, if Blake admits that 
he failed to pass it, Gordon must be disqualified for 
running without it. Banner here knows the truth, and 
Rogers — " 

" Where is Mr. Rogers? " asked the official. 

"I — I 'm afraid he has gone. He wanted to catch 
a train at ten-thirty, and had to leave." 

The man pondered. " Well," he decreed, " it rests 
with the runners' evidence. So far as I am concerned, 
I failed to notice any violation of the rules. If you 
care to thresh out the case, and bring me the affidavits 
of all concerned, I shall be forced to re-open it." 

" You will have to prove that Blake really did not 
pass the stick," Emerson reminded. 

" Oh, you admit now, do you, that we have grounds 
for argument? " smiled the other coach. "All right. 
I tell you, I shall protest the race." 

It was useless to prolong the discussion. Emerson 
nodded shortly, and marched to the dressing-room, 
where he found the rest of his team. 

" Do you remember. Midget," said the coach, 
" whether you passed the stick to Gordon as you fell ? " 
Blake looked up with a smile. " I was so excited," he 
confessed, " that I might have thrown it to the ceiling. 
Why?" 

" Because," explained Emerson, ** young Banner, 
who was finishing the third relay behind you, says you 
did n't give it to Gordon. If this is so, we shall prob- 
ably have the victory taken from us." 

" But we won it." The voice was that of Stone. 



COACHING THE COACH 387 

" It 's this way," explained the coach, setting forth 
the arguments of the excitable Banner. When he was 
done, they all fell silent for many seconds. Blake him- 
self was the first to speak. 

" But they were beaten fairly enough, anyhow," he 
persisted, wrinkling his brow over the matter, " and 
it 's hardly sportsmanlike to quibble over a techni- 
cality." 

" It 's anything to win," Emerson pointed out with 
an expressive shrug. " The race may have to be run 
over. But if they are going to such desperate lengths, 
we can match them. You see, they must prove Blake 
failed to pass the stick." 

" But did he fail ? " asked Terry Shaw, in all in- 
nocence. " How about it, Mister Runner ? " 

" I can't recall," answered the Midget, shaking his 
head and looking away at the low murmur of disap- 
pointment. " I think — no, I have no right to guess. 
Gordon says I did ; he would n't lie. On the other 
hand. Banner says I did not ; I know he believes he is 
telling the truth. Fellows, I was so excited that I 
have n't the faintest recollection of what happened as I 
fell." 

" Suppose," suggested Emerson, " that you are 
called upon for your evidence. If you say you don't 
remember, it will be equivalent, so far as the officials 
are concerned, to a confession that you did fail to pass 
it, but don't care to admit the fact." 

"But that's all I can say, isn't it?" mildly pro- 
tested the boy. 

" Not at all," dissented Emerson. " If you are not 
certain, I don't want you to say that you gave it to 
Gordon. But the chances are that you really passed 
it to him. When your evidence is asked for, testify 
that you believe you did, but are not absolutely sure. 



388 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

That is merely a more convincing way of confessing 
you don't know." 

''I — I can't say that, Mr. Emerson." 

"Why not?" 

" Because it would be misleading. I do not know 
what I did. You don't. Banner was as excited as I 
was, and I don't believe he does, either, although I am 
certain he honestly thinks he is right. So, you see, I 
can't say I think I passed it to Gordon." 

" Oh, come now, Midget, that 's drawing the line 
altogether too fine. I don't ask you to lie, do I ? " 

" No," agreed the boy, a little uncertainly, " but — 
well, I am afraid we two do not look at it in just the 
same light." 

Emerson tried a new tack. " Blake," he said, " we 
are rounding into a splendid team. If this victory 
stands, we have an excellent chance to win every race 
this spring. Now, I am asking you to do what you 
can to make this victory count; and I am asking it in 
the name of the other fellows on the four. How about 
a sacrifice of conscientious scruples for their sake? 
You are not the only one concerned." 

The boy looked at the others. Gordon's lean, frank 
face wore an expression of harassed suspense. Stone's 
was plainly a scowl. Even Shaw's had lost its usual 
cheery smile. The Midget's decision meant a very 
great deal to them all. 

" And then I want you to consider me," went on 
Emerson's persuasive voice. " I 've tried to help you. 
Midget, as well as the others, and I have done it gladly, 
freely, without the thought of exacting return from 
you. But, now that the opportunity has come, I ask 
you, for the sake of the fellows and me, to do as I 
suggest. Will you?" 

Midget Blake did not hesitate. " I can't do it, sir ; 



COACHING THE COACH 389 

I must tell the truth. HI believed I passed the stick, 
I should say so. But I do not remember, and I can- 
not even suggest that I did." 

" Not even for the sake of your team-mates? " asked 
Emerson, confident of their attitude. 

" Ask them if I shall." 

The coach turned to the still little group about him. 
There was no need of putting the question into words. 
It was Gordon who acted as spokesman for the trio. 

" I think, Mr. Emerson, that Blake is right. He 
can only say that he does not know. Do you fellows 
agree with me ? " 

The other two murmured " Yes," with emphatic 
nods of their heads. 

To Emerson the decision was a shock. He had been 
confident of their sympathy. To him the victory was 
the thing, and, although he detested all that was dis- 
honorable, this mere re-wording of a sentence meaning 
so much had seemed entirely justifiable. 

There was a long silence, embarrassing in its in- 
tensity and duration. Presently Emerson walked over 
to a window that fronted toward the campus. The lit- 
tle clock on the wall ticked off a minute or more before 
he turned and came back. 

" Blake," he said, holding out his hand, " I want to 
apologize to you, and to you others. I was wrong. 
I see it quite clearly now, and I 'd give a lot — a whole 
lot — if I had n't said what I did, and if I had n't be- 
lieved it myself. Losing the race does n't matter half 
so much as losing one's respect for oneself. I have 
been out in the professional world so long that I am 
afraid my moral nature was warping a little. It 's 
straightened again, though ; I 've had my lesson. And, 
fellows, it will stay straight if we don't win another 
race this spring." 



390 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

Then, before they could speak, he was at the door. 
As he went out, he called back, '* Thank you — all of 
you!" 

An hour later, Emerson called up Blake on the tele- 
phone. 

" The other coach has just been here," he informed 
the runner, " and he apologized for his attitude this 
evening. They have been talking it over, and have de- 
cided that it is hardly sportsmanlike to protest. He 
says " — here the voice of the speaker became unusu- 
ally gruff — *' that we won fairly enough. His boys 
have no desire to take advantage of a technicality." 

The Midget moistened his lips. " What did you 
tell him? " he asked. 

** I — why — hello — I said we could not consider 
accepting his decision. If his team won, it won, that 's 
all. I told him we wanted an honest victory, techni- 
cally and actually, or none at all, and that we would n't 
accept a doubtful victory." 

** Good for you. Coach ! " shouted Blake, who un- 
derstood how much the sacrifice of the victory meant 
to Emerson. '' I 'm going to drop around and see you 
to-morrow. Good night." 

When he called the next afternoon, the coach greeted 
him with a smile, and held out a telegram. " Read 
it," he said. " It 's from the protester." 

Midget Blake read : 

• Profound apologies. Rogers says Banner wholly mis- 
taken. Former saw Gordon drop stick half-way around 
track. Banner misled by excitement during race; begs you 
believe claim regretful error, not wilful misrepresentation. 

** Why, of course we believe it," the runner said 
unhesitatingly. 

" Of course," the coach echoed sincerely. 



XXIV 



" SKEETER 



By Oscar Lewis 



IT was nearing the end of the long summer twihght 
and the basket-ball team at Fenton Park had been 
forced to call their practice game on account of 
darkness. Several of the boys still lingered behind on 
the turf court at one corner of the little playground for 
a few moments of field-goal practice before changing 
their clothes at the club-house and hastening home. 

In the group was Tom Kane, captain of Fenton 
Park's team, who played center, and Harry Fuller, one 
of the forwards. Both the guards were present also, 
and several members of the second team. 

And, of course, little " Skeeter " Hall was there, too. 
One could always depend upon finding " Skeet " on 
the basket-ball court as long as any one else remained. 
It had even been rumored that he sometimes stayed be- 
hind after all the others had left, practising free throws 
and field goals and dribbling rushes, especially dribbling 
rushes; they w^ere Skeeter's specialty. Sometimes it 
would be quite dark before he returned to the little 
club-house at the far end of the grounds, walking 
slowly and reluctantly, and dribbling the ball before 
him as he came down the path. Skeeter liked the 
game, there could be no doubt about that. 

It was a real misfortune that Skeeter was so out- 
rageously small ; every one of the boys at Fenton Park 

391 



392 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

agreed to that, for they wanted him on the team. He 
was so serious, and so good-natured, and so vitally in- 
terested in everything. But the chief reason why they 
wanted him on the team was because he was such a 
whirlwind of a player, — '' a regular untamed wildcat 
when he gets hold of the ball," Mr. Wirt, their young 
physical director and coach had once said. 

Fenton Park needed good players that season, too, 
which made them regret Skeeter's ridiculous size all 
the more. In the series of games for the champion- 
ship trophy offered by the playground commission, lit- 
tle Fenton Park, the smallest and most recently es- 
tablished of the city's playgrounds, had battled itself 
into the semi-finals, winning the five preliminary 
games without a single reverse. But as the race had 
narrowed down and the less expert teams were elimi- 
nated, each succeeding victory had been harder won. 
The score at the end of each game became closer, and 
several times Fenton Park had managed to make their 
winning goal only in the last few minutes of play. 

The Saturday before, they had played the semi-final 
with the team from big iMosswood Park in Piedmont. 
They had seemed hopelessly outclassed at the end of 
the first half, but had come back in the second, playing 
so desperately as to even the score. And then, in the 
last half minute of play, Tom Kane had thrown a bril- 
liant field goal half-way across the court which had 
won the game and the right to compete a week later 
in the final test for the championship trophy. 

They were discussing their chances of winning this 
deciding game as they stood there in the twilight that 
evening, ranged in a semicircle about one of the goals, 
each in turn tossing the ball through the iron circle 
above. 

" Lakeside Park has a ' gym,' which gives their team 



^^SKEETER" 393 

an inside court to practice on," Mr. Wirt was say- 
ing, glancing at the same time about the flat, treeless 
little area of their own park, and at the bare factory 
walls that rose up on three sides. " That, of course, 
is an advantage to them. Then, too, their team prac- 
tises a couple of hours each afternoon, whereas most 
of you fellows work till five o'clock, and we are lucky 
to get in an hour an evening before darkness comes 
along and shuts us off. All of which," added the 
coach, with a smile, " gives us one very marked ad- 
vantage over them : we realize our limitations, and we 
won't go into the game over-confident." 

" Small chance of over-confidence on our side," 
agreed Tom Kane. " All we have to do in order to 
cure ourselves of that is to remember those two guards 
on the Lakeside team. Just look at their record this 
season! Not a single team has scored more than six 
points on them. Lakeside claims to play a perfect de- 
fensive game, and I guess they 're right. And — 
Vv ell, a team must score points in order to win ! " 

" Those Lakeside guards are wonders," admitted the 
coach. " Our forwards will have a hard time ; that 
seems certain. Still, we '11 do the best we can ; I 'm 
sure of that. And no team can do more." 

The captain's gaze roved about the group and fell 
upon the deeply interested face of Skeeter Hall in the 
background. " Too bad we can't turn Skeet loose on 
those Lakeside guards," he said, regretfully. 

Every one turned smilingly to the little " sub " who 
grinned good-naturedly and shifted his weight from 
one foot to the other. 

" Why don't you weigh twenty-five pounds more, 
Skeet? " demanded Tom. " If you did, we would feel 
a lot more confident about next Saturday's game. 
But you 're too light. Those guards would carry you 



394 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

around under one arm, and you would n't have a 
chance to get your hands on the ball." 

" I guess you 're right, Tom," said Skeeter regret- 
fully. His tone was exaggeratedly solemn as he 
spoke, and his face showed not a flicker of the amuse- 
ment they all knew was behind it. Every one broke 
into a laugh. 

" You 're all right, Skeet, even if there is so little of 
you,'' said some one. '' You will be big enough next 
season, and then we '11 win the trophy sure, no matter 
how we come out this time." 

" Better run in now, fellows, and have your shower," 
broke in the coach at this point. " You might catch 
cold standing out here." 

The group started off at a run toward the club- 
house, and the coach followed more slowly, carrying 
the ball under his arm. He had not gone far when he 
heard some one at his side. He turned and found that 
it was Skeeter Hall. 

" What 's the matter, Sherman ? " he asked. *' Why 
don't you go in and dress? " 

" May I have the ball for a while longer, Mr. Wirt? 
I '11 lock it up when I get through, so you won't have to 
wait. I 'd like to practice a little longer." 

" But it 's almost dark." 

" I know. But I 've an idea and I want to try it out, 
if you don't mind." 

" Of course, I don't mind, Sherman," returned the 
coach. " Here 's the ball ; practice as long as you like." 

But after Skeeter had thanked him and rushed back 
to the deserted court, the coach stood for several mo- 
ments looking after him through the twilight. ** Now, 
I wonder what he is up to this time? " he mused, as he 
turned finally and continued on his way to the club- 
house. 



''SKEETER" 395 

The coach had occasion to ask himself that question 
many times during the days that followed, and not he 
alone but every one in the park was puzzled to account 
for Skeeter's new and mysterious activity. 

" It seems that Skeet just about lives on the basket- 
ball court these days," Harry Fuller said one after- 
noon toward the end of the week. " Wonder what 
he 's up to? " 

'' I happened to pass here this morning," put in an- 
other, " and Skeet was out on the court, so I stopped 
and watched. Do you know what he was practising? 
Dribbling rushes; nothing else at all. He just ran 
steadily up and down the court dribbling the ball be- 
fore him, bouncing it up and down on the ground with 
his hand, you know. But he did n't run in a straight 
line ; he was forever zig-zagging back and forth, and 
darting off suddenly in all sorts of unexpected direc- 
tions. You all know how quick he is, like a flash. 
And always he wound up at the end of the court with 
a quick shoot for the goal. He made the goal, too, 
every time. Funny, v/as n't it? " 

'' Yes ; he has something up his sleeve, that 's clear." 

But Skeeter himself seemed in no hurry to solve the 
mystery, for he always evaded their questions, dismiss- 
ing the matter as of no consequence, and it was not 
until a few minutes before the start of the big game 
with Lakeside that he made known the plan upon 
which he had spent so many hours. 

The game w^as to be played on the court at Lake- 
side's big " gym," and the Fenton Park team were in 
their dressing-room just off the crowded main floor, 
waiting to be called out for their preliminary prac- 
tice, when Tom Kane felt a hand rested hesitatingly on 
his shoulders. He found the serious, excited face of 
Skeeter Hall looking up at him. 



396 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

*' I — I," began the other, glancing about nervously. 
" Suppose we go over to that bench in the corner. 
I 've something to tell you, and it 's important." 

*' All right, Skeet, lire away," encouraged Tom when 
they had reached the bench, wondering at the same time 
what had so excited the little " sub," for Skeeter was 
usually calm under all circumstances. 

" It 's — it 's going to be a hard game, I suppose," 
he began, and then paused, hesitating. 

'' Yes, of course it 's going to be a hard game," 
agreed Tom. " But see here, Skeet, that 's not what 
you dragged me over here to say. You 've something 
on your mind ; now out with it 1 " 

Skeeter broke into an embarrassed grin. " Well, 
you admit that the game is going to be a hard one. 
Tom," he began slowly. " And, — well, the score may 
go against us, you know, and — and if it does I — I — 
well," he finished finally, " if we 're behind, I want you 
to let me play guard for the last five minutes." 

Tom hesitated at this unexpected request, and 
Skeeter hurried on, his eyes fairly sparkling with ex- 
citement and earnestness. 

*' I have a scheme, Tom, and I think it will work 
against Lakeside. Anyhow, if we are losing, it can't 
make much difference if I go in for a few^ minutes at 
the end, can it? My plan may win the game. It's 
a good idea, and I 've spent quite a lot of time trying 
to get it as perfect as I can, and — well, what do you 
say, Tom ? " 

At that moment the coach's head appeared in the 
door and his voice came across to them. " All right, 
fellows," he called, throw^ing open the door that led 
out upon the court. " It 's time to warm up now. 
The game starts in five minutes ! " 

Tom rose to his feet. ** You 're mighty careful to 



" SKEETER " 397 

keep this idea all to yourself," he laughed down at his 
companion as they started for the door. " And ^ — 
and — " he hesitated, " well, all right, Skeet, I promise. 
If things are going against us toward the last, I '11 put 
you in." 

The game was to be a hard-fought one, that was evi- 
dent from the first toss-up. For a full ten minutes 
neither side scored. In spite of their widely different 
methods of play, the teams were very evenly matched. 
Fenton Park, lacking the thorough preliminary train- 
ing of their opponents, played a more " ragged " 
game; their passing was less sure, and their combina- 
tion plays often were broken up before they were well 
started. The Lakeside team, on the other hand, in- 
tent upon their cautious, scientific game, lost much of 
the spontaneous dash and enthusiasm that distinguished 
Fenton Park's play. 

Although for some time neither side was able to 
score, the game was by no means lacking in thrills, 
and from the crowd about the side of the court and in 
the gallery overhead came continuous bursts of cheers 
and applause as the ball, hovering perilously about one 
or the other of the goals, was captured finally by the 
guards and sent flying back to the center of the court. 

But as the game advanced, little Skeeter Hall, sit- 
ting on a bench at one end of the court with several 
other substitutes, saw that the play returned with in- 
creasing frequency to threaten Fenton Park's goal. 
A dozen times the vigilant guards sent it flying back 
down the court, only to have it return slowly but 
steadily after a moment. And then, suddenly, Lake- 
side scored twice; one after the other. Several min- 
utes later their center threw a long field goal, making 
the score 6 to o, in their favor. And then, after a 
struggle lasting nearly five minutes during which the 



398 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

ball never left Fenton Park's territory, Lakeside 
scored yet again and the half ended, 8 to o. 

" It 's those guards," said Harry Fuller, Fenton 
Park's star forward, while the team was resting in the 
dressing-room between halves. '' They seem to be on 
all sides of a fellow at once. You can't even pass the 
ball, let alone try for a goal ! " 

The second half continued much as had the first. 
Fenton Park, playing desperately, managed to prevent 
their opponents from increasing their lead, but not 
once were they able to score for themselves. Always 
when they threatened Lakeside's territory, the two op- 
posing guards intervened and sent the ball snapping 
across from player to player down the court and out 
of danger. Fenton Park was awarded a free throw 
when the game was three-quarters over, for some minor 
breach of rules by their opponents. Tom Kane threw 
the goal from the foul line and scored Fenton Park's 
lone point. 

The game continued for five minutes more, desper- 
ately contested but without further scoring, and then 
suddenly Fenton Park's captain called for time out to 
make a change in line-up. 

" All right, Skeet," he called briefly across the hall, 
and with an eager bound the little " sub " had left the 
bench and sought his place. 

The play went on without noticeable change. The 
ball at the moment was in the vicinity of Lakeside's 
goal, but Skeeter, waiting eagerly at the other end of 
the court, knew that it would remain there only a short 
time. He was not mistaken, for soon a passing rush 
got under way and the ball came sweeping down toward 
Fenton Park's goal. An instant more and Skeet at 
last was in the midst of the play. 

Not more than three seconds later an astonishing 



'' SKEETER " 399 

thing began to happen. There had been a series of 
short and rapid passes before Fenton Park's goal, and 
then suddenly a small and surprisingly active figure 
detached itself from the group. It was Skeeter Hall, 
and he was in possession of the ball, dribbling it along 
skilfully before him with one hand. 

*' All right, Skeet, — pass!'' came Tom's voice 
nearby, for it is not the business of the guard to ad- 
vance the ball far from the goal that he is guarding. 
" Get the ball clear, and then pass it," is the standing 
order that guards are supposed to bear in mind. 

But Skeeter, it was clear, intended obeying no such 
precedent. He made no attempt to pass the ball : in- 
stead, he continued his dribbling rush straight down 
the field. For an instant the opposing players were 
taken by surprise by these new tactics, and then the 
Lakeside center shot across the court to intercept him. 
He reached the spot; extended his hands for the ball. 
But on the instant that his fingers were beginning to 
close upon it, Skeeter's palm descended sharply upon 
the leather surface and the ball bounded lightly to one 
side. Another quick sweep with his hand brought it 
back in its course again, and Skeeter. having made a 
neat and lightning detour around the astonished Lake- 
side player, continued swiftly down the length of the 
court. 

A second player, one of the formidable Lakeside 
guards, shot across toward him. Skeeter advanced 
straight ahead until the other had reached his very 
side ; then, at the last instant, shot the ball unexpectedly 
ofif at a right angle. With a lightning squirm, he slid 
under the other's outstretched arm, and the next in- 
stant a roar of spontaneous applause shook the build- 
ing as Skeet, grasping the ball in both hands for the 
first time, shot it aloft and directly through the basket 



400 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

" Great work ! " said Tom, clapping Skeeter briefly 
on the shoulder as the teams reformed for the toss-up. 
" Play fast, — only four minutes more ! " 

Skeeter played fast. Ten seconds later he again had 
the ball in his possession. Once more he darted forth 
upon his astonishing zigzag course down the hall, 
dribbling the ball before him with superlative speed and 
skill. Again he shot by the opposing players w^ith his 
lightning dodges, and again the rush ended with a 
swift toss aloft and a perfect goal. 

" Score, 8 to 5 ; three and a half minutes to play," 
announced some one on the sidelines above the uproar, 
as the teams reformed on the court. 

But by this time the Lakeside team had readjusted 
their play to this unusual mode of attack. " Keep the 
ball away from him," was the word that passed among 
them. " Watch him, everybody ; don't let him get 
near it ! " 

Thereafter Lakeside kept the ball in the center of 
the court, and it was a full three minutes before one 
of the Fenton Park players managed to get possession 
of it. Instantly he shot it across to Skeeter and, like 
a flash, the little guard was off down the court, drib- 
bling the ball ahead of him with one hand, dodg- 
ing, twisting, and squirming. His wonderful natural 
speed, together with the sureness and ease in handling 
the ball that his long hours of practice had given him, 
enabled him to elude the desperate attempts that Lake- 
side made to stay his progress. Again the ball soared 
aloft before Lakeside's goal. It struck the wall behind 
the basket, bounced down upon the circular rim itself, 
wavered an instant, and then fell — inside ! 

" Seven to eight, favor of Lakeside," shouted the 
scorer as the teams hastily formed for the toss-up. 
On the bench beside him, the timekeeper, eyes on his 



"SKEETER'' 401 

watch, drew a nickel-plated whistle from his pocket and 
held it ready in his hand. 

The ball shot up between the opposing centers. Tom 
gave Skeeter the signal that he was going to attempt 
to knock the ball across into his hands. Skeeter 
nodded and, as the ball descended, Tom jumped high 
in the air and shot it across into his teammate's wait- 
ing hands. The play had succeeded, and Skeeter was 
off like a flash. But when he had advanced two-thirds 
down the court, something caused him to glance hastily 
at the timekeeper on the sidelines across the hall, and 
he saw that the other was just setting the whistle to his 
lips. 

There would be no time to finish his dribbling rush ; 
Skeeter realized that instantly. Tom Kane, at the 
moment was abreast of him, running in the same di- 
rection. Like a flash Skeeter shot the ball across into 
his hands. 

" Shoot ! " he said, tensely. 

The captain understood. He came to a sudden stop, 
poised the ball at arm's length for a second, and then, 
just as the opposing center bore down upon him, hurled 
it forward. The ball sped high over the player's 
heads, inscribing a long and graceful semicircle in the 
air. 

The timekeeper's whistle blew sharp and shrilly, 
telling that the game was over. But an instant be- 
fore, the ball had ended its flight, falling directly into 
the center of the basket; a perfect field goal. 

" Nine to eight," announced the scorer, in the in- 
stant of silence that followed. " Fenton Park's 
game ! " 



XXV 

A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 
By George Hounsfield Ford 

IN the front rank of sports for boys is the native 
American game, lacrosse. In common with base- 
ball and foot-ball, it has the advantage of being 
a team game as opposed to such individual games as 
tennis, and it cultivates the speed and agility necessary 
to the sprint runner, and the lung-power and endurance 
of the long-distance cycler. It is less dangerous to 
life and limb than any game of nearly equal activity, 
and, from the spectator's standpoint, is the most in- 
teresting and brilliant of all the sports. 

Possessing all these advantages, it is hard to see why 
lacrosse is not more generally played by our boys. 

The Canadians excel at the game because their boys 
get lacrosse-sticks as soon as they are strong enough 
to hold them, and small sticks are provided which even 
the youngest can wield. In England and Ireland there 
are teams by the dozen, and thousands attend the 
matches. Yet in the United States, which is really 
the home of the game, there are hardly more than a 
score of teams. 

Happily, interest in the game is growing, but as yet 

it is played ordinarily by young men ; and it is in the 

hope of interesting some boys that this story of an 

exciting, well-played match is written. 

The materials required for the game consist of the 

402 



A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 403 

goals, a solid rubber ball, a lacrosse-stick for each 
player, and a " lot." The only one of these that re- 
quires explanation is the stick. The shaft of tough 
hickory is very light and strong. It is strung with 
heavy gut, which is not tight like that on a tennis- 
racket, but is strung more loosely, so that it gives when 
struck by the ball. This enables the player to catch 
handily. With this stick all the play is made, touch- 
ing the ball with the hands being strictly barred. 

The object of the game is, as in foot-ball, to attack 
your opponents' goal and at the same time defend 
your own; but the scoring is done by driving the ball 
through the goal, and not over it, as in that game. 
The goals are set one at each end of the field, generally 
about one hundred and ten yards apart, and there 
should be at least fifty feet of open field behind each 
for play behind goal. Two seven- foot sticks about 
one and a half inches in diameter, set firmly one foot 
deep in the ground and just six feet apart, constitute 
the goal. English players have added a great improve- 
ment to the goal, however, which has been adopted in 
this country and Canada. It consists of a bag of 
stout netting, stretched from the goal-posts and from 
a cross-bar between them to the ground at a point about 
seven feet back of the goal. The object of this net is 
to remove a source of frequent disputes as to whether 
the " shot " — for so the throw which sends the ball 
through the goal is called — went through, just to one 
side, or above the goal. It is almost impossible for 
the umpire to tell whether the ball passed just six feet 
above the ground, or six feet and half an inch. The 
first would be a " goal," the second " no goal " ; but 
on such decisions as this many a match has been won, — 
and many an umpire's reputation lost. The net elimi- 
nates all this, for if the ball goes through the six-foot 



404 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

square opening it will be found in the bag; and nobody 
can blame the bag. 

Just as two or three boys with bat and ball can play 
'' ball," any number of players can enjoy lacrosse; but 
a full team consists of twelve players. They are di- 
vided into " attack " or " home," and " defense," and 
in the game, are so placed on the field that each attack- 
player of one team is opposed by one of the defense 
of the other. These positions they are supposed to 
hold throughout the game, hunting in couples, each 
player covering only his own part of the field. 

With the players in these positions, the start or 
" face-off " is made as follows: The two centers lay 
the backs of their sticks flat on the ground and side 
by side, with just room enough between to admit the 
ball. The referee drops the ball between the sticks, 
blows his whistle, and the battle is on. 

The centers immediately " draw " their sticks by 
pulling them along the ground and at the same time 
pressing hard against the ball. Each is endeavoring 
by some skilful stratagem to pick it up himself, or, 
failing this, to force it to his own third-attack, who 
stands ready and eager to receive it. One of the third- 
attacks is lucky enough to get it, and instantly darts 
away a few feet to rid himself of the opposing third- 
defense. The cry goes up, " Uncover! " which means 
that the attack-men of the side holding the ball should 
get way from the opposing defense-men, so that third- 
attack can pass the ball to one of them, and so forward 
from man to man toward the enemy's goal. This the 
defense tries to prevent by covering so closely that poor 
third-attack will have no friend free to whom he can 
throw the ball without danger of losing it to the de- 
fense. All this time he has to avoid the efforts of his 
immediate opponent, who is struggling with might and 



A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 405 

main to knock the ball from third-attack's stick with his 
own. 

Thinking that he sees second-attack uncovered at 
last, he throws. 

Alas! second-attack is not quick enough and wily 
second-defense picks the ball out of the air, and in an 
instant has passed to his own attack, and the whole 
aspect of the struggle is changed. So fast is this pass- 
ing that goals, or '' games," as they are also called, are 
sometimes made in a few seconds from the face-off, 
and meantime the ball may have been in the possession 
of a dozen players. Again, it may take half an hour 
to make a single score, and during that period each goal 
may have been threatened many times, and saved by 
the true eye and skilful hand of goal-keeper or 
" point " ; for in this position are placed the steadiest 
and safest men. 

It is this rapid change of situation which makes the 
game so intensely interesting to the spectators. After 
each score the teams return to their original positions 
and the ball is faced off as before. The time of play- 
ing is usually one hour, or one and a half actual play- 
ing time, all time out for any cause being deducted. 
It is divided into two equal periods, with a rest between, 
after which the teams change goals. In Canada they 
change wath every score, and the length of the rest 
depends on the time taken to make the previous goal. 

Now let us line up our teams and play over our 
" famous struggle." 

A beautiful June afternoon finds our playing-field, 
with its long stretch of velvety, bright-green turf sur- 
rounded by a gallery of three thousand spectators, a 
large number of them women, whose bright spring 
costumes make a lovely frame for the picturesque strug- 
gle. And here be it said that the ladies love the game 



4o6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

of lacrosse, for it is so pretty, and so easily under- 
stood. 

Over the ropes jump the players, clad in the lightest 
of running-costumes, for they dare not carry an extra 
ounce of weight to take the edge off their speed. The 
visitors are in blue, the home players in red. Referee 
and time-keepers are quickly chosen, and the players 
take position. A blast from the referee's whistle, and 
before you have a chance to cheer, the blues have the 
ball, and, darting here and there with dexterous pass- 
ing from man to man, are threatening the red goal. 
" Outside home " has the ball, dodges " cover-point," 
and whirls round to " shoot." It looks like a score. 
But look ! As the ball leaves his stick at lightning 
speed, steady " point," hero of many a fray, jumps 
from his place and nips the ball in mid-air, almost as 
it leaves the stick. No time for him to seek a friend 
to aid him, and he must get the ball away from the goal ; 
so a long throw is his only resource. The very in- 
stant his feet hit the ground, it comes, and away goes 
the ball, full ninety yards, to be fought for by the op- 
posing forces at the other end of the field. The red 
supporters cheer, but only for an instant, for the blue 
defense have secured the ball, and back it comes, as 
before. How fast they are, these blue men! What 
stick-handlers ! Why, the reds have no chance at all ! 
Wait. The red players are slower of foot, to be sure, 
and at times clumsy with their sticks, compared to the 
blue; but their defense is stone wall, and meets the 
blue attack in solid fashion. Again the shot is at- 
tempted, again stopped, and back goes the ball. Over 
and over this occurs ; and now we are beginning to un- 
derstand that the experienced and heady red captain 
has planned his game to meet his opponents' strong 
points with his own strength, so we have speed and 



A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 407 

accurate passing pitted against steadiness and endur- 
ance. 

If we could have peeped into the room where the 
red team was gathered to receive the captain's last lec- 
ture before the game, we would have heard him say, 
" Hold them for twenty minutes, and I '11 promise you 
a win," and the hearty response, " We '11 do it.'' So 
they are playing *' defense," and trying to score only 
if they get a chance, not working for the opportunity, 
as the blues are. The battle goes on. Once the blues 
give the reds their chance. First-attack has the ball 
clear, within seven yards of the goal. No goal-keeper 
can stop it at that distance, if the shot be true. Agon- 
ized screams of "Shoot!" "Shoot!" come from a 
thousand throats whose owners, unmindful that the 
player has ears for only one voice, his captain's, see 
the chance. As if the player did not ! Before the word 
leaves their lips the ball has left his stick. A goal! 
Alas, no! It hits the slender cross-bar and bounds 
above. A sure goal without the nets, — for what um- 
pire would dare deny it ? — but honestly missed by the 
quarter of an inch. Hot work this: but no time for 
regrets, as the blue point (by no means an oyster) is 
on the ball in an instant and has started it back. Now 
the blues gain an advantage ; for one of the red " field- 
ers," as the three men in the center are sometimes 
called, has been dodged and passed by his opponent. 
This compels the next red player to run forward to 
meet and check the blue runner and force him to throw 
the ball, thus leaving his immediate opponent uncov- 
ered; and this manoeuver, repeated at each successive 
position on the attack-field, gives the blues each time 
an extra man to receive and pass on the ball. An enor- 
mous advantage. How can it be stopped? 

The unhappy wretch who has been " passed '' knows 



4oS THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

his only chance to retrieve his error, and before his 
captain's warning *' Come back! " has reached his ears, 
he is sprinting straight down the field to get " ahead of 
the ball." Can he make it? Third-defense is drawn 
out, second and first make frantic dashes to stop the 
rush; but over their heads, or whizzing by just out of 
reach, goes the ball to the blue man they have just left. 
Cover-point, who has been doing wonders, starts for- 
ward and shares their fate. Point is bending over, 
ready for his dash, yet keeping an eye on that red shirt 
that is surely overtaking the play. Now point goes 
out, makes a desperate spring, and misses the ball by a 
hair's breadth, and goal-keeper must come out and 
leave the goal unguarded. Not yet; for the one who 
is responsible for all this is up at last, and with a 
tiger's bound is upon the blue *' outside home," and 
spills him, ball and all, upon the turf, from which goal- 
keeper calmly picks up the little sphere and starts it 
back whence it came. With a lighter heart, the un- 
happy red fielder picks himself up and starts a sprint to 
beat the ball back before it can get to his own posi- 
tion, and with him takes his captain's cheering words : 
" Well played, old man ; get back quickly." 
Hot word indeed, and the best winded of them are 
blowing a little, though the game is young, and there 
is no rest for any one till some one scores. 

Soon the red goal-keeper has a chance to show his 
mettle. The blue attack has drawn out his defense, 
and their " inside home," scarce five yards distant, and 
with just the suspicion of a sure-thing smile on his 
face, is posing the ball for his throw. The only hope 
is to reach him ere he can shoot; so with one quick, 
strong step to give him momentum, goal-keeper springs 
through the air right at his victim ; and not in vain is 
his effort, for as they strike both fall heavily, and the 



A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 409 

ball rolls harmlessly by the goal. Up they jump, the 
aggressor profuse in apologies for the roughness of his 
play; but inside home responds: 

" Don't think of it. It was your only play, and 
mighty well done." 

True sportsmen these, boys; are they not? 

At last the blue attack-men, with a feint and a dodge, 
break through and shoot, and the telltale shaking of the 
net proclaims to all a goal. The backers of both teams 
break forth in applause, while the players squat for a 
moment on the turf, and the red captain hails the time- 
keepers: "How long?" "Twenty-three minutes." 
He smiles grimly, remembering his promise before the 
game, and with a " That 's all right," seeks the water- 
pail. 

" Face-off, and get at it ! " calls the referee ; and the 
game proceeds. Soon the reds try a shot, and miss 
again by an inch; then the blues, just before the half 
closes, score again, and leave the field at half-time, 
with the score " 2 to o " in their favor. How happy 
they are! 

So are the reds ; for the captain says : " Our game, 
boys. We 've made them run themselves out. Now 
you attack-men make up, and you fielders feed the at- 
tack steadily. We '11 take care of goal, and don't want 
you back there ; though if I do call, come in like light- 
ning." 

Back to the field come the twenty-four, and cheers 
volley round the side-lines once again. The whistle 
blows, and away they go. 

What a transformation in the red players! They 
charge the blue goal like a cavalry troop, and ere you 
understand it, bang! goes the ball fairly at the goal- 
keeper's feet, and bounds through. " Two minutes." 
says the timekeeper. ** Line up quickly," calls the 



4IO THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

captain ; and they do. Three times in ten minutes the 
reds score, and the bkies are demorahzed. Then a 
cry goes up : " Time ! '' and the blue captain is on 
the ground, writhing. Referee calls time. " What 's 
the matter " " Twisted my ankle." " Hurry it up," 
says referee; but five minutes pass, and up comes the 
red captain, furious, examines the prostrate figure, and 
solemnly protests : *' He is all right now, Mr. Ref- 
eree. I demand that the game proceed " ; for he sees 
that by the delay he is losing his advantage. There is 
probably reason in this. The man is undoubtedly 
hurt, but is making the most of the accident to give his 
rattled team a chance to settle down. Referee allows 
more time ; and the red captain tramps off, a much dis- 
gruntled citizen, only to return at intervals of half a 
minute and repeat again and again: " Mr. Referee, I 
must protest." Referee knows his business, and 
does n't mind all this in the least, but does the fair 
thing, and finally orders the man to play or leave the 
field. Up he jumps, spry as a cat, and off they go. 

Now we see how much good the rest has done the 
blues, for the red rush is stopped, and finally blue 
scores again in ten minutes, and the game is tie at 
" three-all." 

" Eight minutes to play ! " and both captains elo- 
quently exhort their tiring comrades to " brace and 
play up." *' Two minutes to play!" and the reds 
score again in this way : 

First-attack got the ball from a long throw, and 
with a lightning dodge passed first-defense. This 
drew cover-point forward, and the ball went by him to 
reds' outside home, thus uncovered. Point, however, 
saw the danger, was on him in a flash, and forced him 
to run back toward the goal line, but away to the left 









^A/^'^"**' 








.'^v 



.e-t". 










A FAMOUS LACROSSE STRUGGLE 413 

of the goal. He tried all the time to elude his pur- 
suer and get rid of the ball. This he was unable to do 
till fairly on the goal-line when he successfully passed 
to first-attack, who had worked in close before the 
goal. Inside-home had in the meantime taken a posi- 
tion in front of and to the right of the goal, where he 
could easily score if he could get the ball. First-at- 
tack came a few steps nearer the goal, turned, and 
feinted a pass to inside-home. The goal-keeper, who 
all through the game had obstinately refused to be 
drawn from his post, was caught at last, and charged 
inside-home, expecting to find the ball with him. The 
goal thus open, first-attack tossed the ball through, and 
won the game. 

My! how many dainty gloves will need repairs, and 
what a sale there will be for slippery-elm lozenges in 
town to-night ! 

The minute the goal is scored the red captain sees 
victory, and calls back the trustiest of his fielders to 
play right before the goal. This gives him an extra 
man on the defense, and shows that he will take no 
chances by trying to score again. 

Now the blues are desperate, and come down the 
field like stampeded cattle, but the red defense takes 
it coolly, and manages to pick out the ball; and then, 
" Long throw, old man ! " and away it goes — any- 
where away from the goal. Once more the blues come 
on; but red second-defense jumps seemingly ten feet in 
air, and pulls down the ball ; and as he does so a time- 
keeper calls : " Thirty seconds to play ! " Then the 
red player heaves the ball mightily to the farther corner 
of the field, and, without looking after it, sits down, 
grunting : 

" They can't get to it in thirty seconds ! " 



414 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

" Time ! " the whistle blows. The three thousand 
rush yelling into the field, and the blue captain says to 
the red : " Congratulate you ; you have a fine team." 

That is lacrosse, boys. Is it worth playing? 



XXVI 

BOYS AND THE AIR-SHIP 
By Francis Arnold Collins 

IN the boy's calendar nowadays the aeroplane sea- 
son comes in with sledding and runs all through 
skating, marble, top, kite-flying, and bicycle time. 
The delights of all the old games seem to be found in 
this marvelous new toy. The fun in throwing a top 
cannot compare with that of launching an aeroplane, 
while kite-flying is a very poor substitute for the actual 
conquest of the air. To watch one of these fascinating 
little ships of the air, which you have fashioned and 
built with your own hands, actually rise from the earth 
and soar aloft with a swallow's swiftness, is perhaps 
the greatest boy's sport in the world. Certainly no 
new game or toy has ever taken such hold of the boy's 
imagination, and in so short a time enrolled such an 
army of enthusiasts. 

Throughout the country to-day several thousand boy 
aviators are struggling with the problem of the air- 
ship. Among these junior aeronauts the record for 
height and that for distance in flying are matters of 
quite as lively interest as among the grown-ups. The 
great contests of aviators here and abroad are watched 
with intelligent interest. Let a new form of aero- 
plane, a biplane or monoplane, appear, and it is quickly 
reproduced by scores of models and its virtues put to 
an actual test. If a new wing or new plan for insur- 
ing stability is invented, a new thought in the steering- 

415 



4i6 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

device, or some new application of power, it is instantly 
the subject of earnest discussion among the junior 
aeronauts the country over. 

Nor are junior aeronauts merely imitators. The 
mystery of the problems of the air, the fascination of 
a new world of conquest, make a strong appeal to the 
American temperament. With thousands of bright 
boys working with might and main to build air-ships 
which will actually fly, there is certain to be real prog- 
ress. Thousands of different models have been de- 
signed and put to actual test. This army of inven- 
tors, ranging in age from twelve to eighteen years, 
some of whom will be the aviators of the future, can- 
not fail to do great service, as time goes on, in the ac- 
tual conquest of the air. 

Within a few months this army of inventors was 
organized into clubs, and a regular program of tourna- 
ments arranged. The junior aero clubs are found in 
connection with many schools, both public and private ; 
they are made features of the Young Men's Christian 
Association amusements, or they become identified 
with various neighborhoods. Tournaments are ar- 
ranged between clubs of different cities or States. 

The junior aero world has its prizes, which are 
scarcely less coveted than the rewards for actual flight. 
Already definite rules have been laid down for con- 
ducting these tests and for making official records of 
flights. It is possible, therefore, to compare the rec- 
ords made in different cities or countries with one an- 
other. 

The junior aero tournaments are likely to be one 
of the most thrilling experiences in a boy's life. The 
feats which the w^orld has watched with such breath- 
less interest at aviation meets, are reproduced in min- 
iature in these boys' contests without loss of enthu- 




RECENT TYPE OF MODEL HYDROAEROPLANE 




A FAST ENGLISH MODEL 




AN EFFICTKNT LONG-DISTANCE MODEL 



BOYS AND THE AIR-SHIP 419 

siasm. The weeks or months of preparation in scores 
of Httle workshops are now put to an actual test. The 
model air-ship, which has cost so many anxious and 
delightful hours in the building, is to spread its wings 
with scores of similar air-craft. The superiority of 
various models is to be tested without fear or favor. 

For the young inventors, even for the mere layman 
in such matters, the scene is extremely animated. On 
every hand one sees the inventors tuning up their air- 
craft for the final test. There are lively discussions 
in progress over the marvelous little toys. The lay- 
man hears a new language spoken with perfect con- 
fidence about him. The boys have already made the 
picturesque vocabulary of the world of aviation their 
own. To hear a crowd of these enthusiasts shout 
their comments as the air- ships fly about is in itself 
an education in advanced aeronautics. 

Directly the field is cleared, the judges take their 
position, and the junior sky-pilot toes the mark, air- 
ship in hand. " One, two, three," shouts the starter, 
and with a whir the graceful air-craft is launched. 
The flutter of the tiny propeller suggests the sudden 
rise of a covey of partridges. The little craft, at once 
so graceful and frail, defies all the accepted laws of 
gravitation. It darts ahead in long, undulating curves 
as it floats over the invisible air-currents. As in the 
aeroplanes of larger size, the length of the flight is de- 
pendent almost wholly on the motive power. As the 
little engine slows down, the craft wavers, and then in 
a long curve, for it can do nothing ungraceful, it 
glides to rest, skidding along the ground like a bird re- 
luctant to leave the sk}^ 

When the time comes for the races between the 
air-craft, enthusiasm runs high. Naturally these con- 
tests are the most popular features of the tournament. 



420 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

A line of inventors, air-craft in hand, usually six at a 
time, take their positions at the starting-line. Each 
air-craft has been tuned to its highest powers. The 
labor of weeks, the study of air-craft problems, the 
elaboration of pet inventive schemes, are represented 
in the shining model. And the problem before the 
young inventors is most baffling. There are few 
models to work from, the science is still so young, and 
the inventor may w^ell feel himself something of a 
Columbus in launching his frail craft upon this un- 
charted sea. 

At the signal half a dozen propellers are instantly 
released, a whirring as of innumerable light wings fills 
the air. The curious Hock of mechanical birds rises 
and falls, dipping in long, graceful curves as they strug- 
gle toward the goal. Some graceful little craft shoul- 
ders along beside a glistening monoplane which re- 
sembles a great hawk with wings outspread. 

The thrill of an aeroplane race is a sensation pe- 
culiarly its own. It seems so astonishing that the 
graceful little craft should remain aloft at all, that they 
are a never- failing delight to the eye. The varying 
fortunes of the race, the temporary lead gained by one 
craft, to be lost the next moment to another, which a 
second later itself falls behind, and the final heat be- 
tween the survivors in the race as they approach the 
goal, are enough to drive the average boy crazy with 
delight. 

The rules for these contests are rigidly observed. 
Each air-craft is sent aloft by its inventor or owner. 
The start must be made from a mark, and of course 
each boy must toe the mark exactly. There must be 
three judges for each event. One stands at the start- 
ing-line and gives the word of command for the start 
of the race or flight, as the case may be. A second 



BOYS AND THE AIR-SHIP 421 

judge stands midway down the course, and the third at 
or near the finishing-Hne. Each young aviator winds 
up his craft, adjusts the power with his own hands, and 
sets the rudder for the flight. 

The miniature air-craft must act in flight exactly 
the same as the great working air-craft which carry 
men aloft. A toy air-ship must make its flight in a 
horizontal position, and if it turns over in flight, even 
though it flies farther and faster than any other, it is 
disqualified. The craft must also fly in a reasonably 
straight line toward the goal, and should it be deflected 
for any reason and go off at a tangent, the flight, no 
matter how successful otherwise, will not be counted. 
In case of a collision between air-craft, the race is re- 
peated. The responsibility for adjusting the power, 
arranging the steering-gear, and giving direction to 
the flight at the start is entirely in the hands of the 
young engineer himself. 

In measuring the length of the flights, again, the 
point at which the air-ship first touches the ground is 
fixed arbitrarily as the end. Often the little craft 
merely grazes the ground to rise and skid for many 
feet, but in the official count this secondary flight is 
not considered. First and last, no one but the owner 
of the little craft is permitted to touch it. The grace 
with W'hich the ship lands is also taken into considera- 
tion in granting the prizes. Each boy is permitted 
three trials. The present national record for distance 
in the United States is over one mile. As in the 
regular aviation world, these records rarely stand for 
more than a few days at a time. 

These air-ships are driven by rubber bands which 
are turned on themselves until they are tightly knotted, 
when in unwinding they serve to drive the propeller 
around some hundreds of times. The rubber is so light 



422 THE BOYS' BOOK OF SPORTS 

that it adds little to the weight of the craft. Experi- 
ments have been made in driving the propeller with 
compressed air, which is carried in an aluminium rod 
fastened beneath the planes. But the force of thou- 
sands of youthful inventive geniuses is certain to bring 
forth some satisfactory motive power. 

It is characteristic of the American boy that our 
young aviators should feel themselves disgraced to fly 
a model not of their own make. As a result, miniature 
craft of amazing ingenuity and workmanship are being 
turned out by the amateur aviators all over the coun- 
try. The materials employed, such as rattan, bamboo, 
or light lath, and the silk for covering the planes, or the 
wires for bracing the frame, cost but a few pennies. 
Toy aviation is one of the most democratic of sports. 

There are scores of model aero-clubs. New York 
has probably the largest of these clubs, but the move- 
ment is very active elsewhere. In Boston, Philadel- 
phia, Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, and on the Paci^'.c 
coast such clubs are growing rapidly. 



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